Demonstration at Vancouver Aquarium against cetacean captivity (Empty The Tanks), June 6, 2015

Empty the Tanks Aquarium

A large demonstration was held at the Vancouver Aquarium as part of the international ‘Empty the Tanks’ protest on June 6, 2015. Photos and details of worldwide protest are available in Twitter under the #EmptyTheTanks hashtag. Organizers said that the practice of confining live cetaceans is cruel and that the animals suffer greatly. One of the Aquarium’s Pacific White-sided dolphins, Hana, recently died. We’ve included a number of photos of the Vancouver demonstration below:

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In July of 2014, the Park Board scheduled several meetings to review the City’s policy for keeping live cetaceans at the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park. The outcome of the meetings was a motion that called for a new cetacean breeding ban and for the establishment of an oversight committee to “ensure the well-being of all cetaceans” at the Aquarium.

The previous Park Board had until November 24, 2014 to enact a cetacean breeding ban bylaw and to establish an oversight committee, yet they failed to follow through. Former Park Board Commissioners Trevor Loke and Aaron Jasper sided with the NPA Commissioners and voted against having the breeding ban bylaw placed on the agenda at the final meeting of the previous board. The current majority on the present Park Board is unlikely to consider changes to policy. As well, it’s unlikely that City Hall will block the issuance of building permits to allow the construction of new tanks at the Vancouver Aquarium that are planned for a second phase of expansion (a move that will lead to move belugas and dolphins at the facility). However, it’s unclear at present if the Vancouver Aquarium has sufficient funds to cover the costs of further expansion.

The Straight has additional coverage on the protest and a video.  It might be worth noting that a young demographic is actively involved in the anti-captivity movement.

References
Vanaquafacts.org
Captive Cetaceans: A Handbook for Campaigners

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