Niki Sharma says park commissioners can have sex with whomever they like, unlike captive whales

Today (August 1) the Vancouver Aquarium issued an open letter highly critical of a park board decision to ban captive whale and dolphin breeding.

Several sections go beyond addressing policy and criticize the park board on a borderline-personal level.

In a telephone interview, Vision Vancouver commissioner Niki Sharma told the Straight that her attention was caught by one line in particular.

"For the Park Board to stop whales and dolphins from doing what comes naturally is like telling Park Board commissioners not to have sex, ever," wrote aquarium president and CEO John Nightingale. "It’s unnatural."

Sharma responded by describing that statement as "ridiculous".

"We are talking about captive animals," she explained. "There is nothing natural about their breeding. I am not captive and I have the freedom of choice of who I partner with and who I don’t. I find that statement to be quite ridiculous."

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Comments (4) Add New Comment
Bobs the name
I am extremely proud of the park board-- who would have thought these folks would have the stuff to take on the aquarium. I think John nightingale is going through his death throes and he's making the aquariums reputation suffer even more by writing that silly open letter.
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Nicholas Ellan
Unless their name is Trish Kelly.
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T-p
And with her extensive background in marine biology Nikki Sharma knows what she is talking about.
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Rich C
Nikki Sharma also said that she questioned how much was natural and how much was artificial insemination... umm no artificial insemination at the VA which she should know already if she had been bothered to pay attention during this whole process.

This hot on the heels of Aaron Jasper stating that if the porpoises have not been having sex so far they would be unlikely to in the future... ignoring/missing the fact that the male of the two rescue porpoises will reach sexual maturity sometime in the next year. This small fact may have some influence over such things! The decision and the Parks boards comments ever since have demonstrated in the clearest possible way that they have less grasp of biology and science than the average high school student. They are out of their depth and pandering to the whims of others who also choose fluffy emotions and dramatic but false imagery of animals suffering over actual science, evidence and a long term view of conservation.

They had an opportunity here to clear up some of the misconceptions and do something worthwhile for improving communication between the aquarium and the city.. and they blew it.
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