Vancouver Aquarium video makes argument for whales and dolphins in captivity

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      With a civic election looming this fall, there's much public debate about whales and dolphins in captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium.

      Motions on the issue are headed to city council and park board early next week.

      Now, the Vancouver Aquarium has released a video that lays out its reasoning for keeping cetaceans in its tanks.

      In the video, CEO John Nightingale, general manager Clint Wright, and head veterinarian Martin Haulena talk about how the aquarium uses the marine mammals for public engagement, research, training, and breeding, and recall some of the aquarium's past promises on cetacean captivity.

      Comments

      9 Comments

      Marcus Wernicke

      Apr 25, 2014 at 12:30pm

      They have also published a new web page at http://www.vanaqua.org/facts highlighting many of the issues in that video, and addressing questions regarding beluga whales on loan to SeaWorld facilities in the US and their potential return.

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      Fred Paxton

      Apr 25, 2014 at 2:18pm

      Hmmm it is refreshing to see that the Straight is finally offering a balanced perspective to the so far very lopsided coverage of this very public debate.

      What I find hilarious though is that the first comment on the shared video is from a No Whales in Captivity/Sea Shepherd Vancouver supporter (who manages both their social media streams) blindly saying that it's a propaganda video. Ignorance truly is bliss and I feel that by activists openly stating that they are ignorant are really only hurting their own cause.

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      Martha

      Apr 25, 2014 at 8:16pm

      If the aquarium is really interested in conservation, then every healthy whale and dolphin should be released into the wild. I think an excellent compromise would involve keeping only rescued animals in the aquarium, and only until they are healthy enough to be released back into the ocean.

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      Fabian Monfort

      Apr 25, 2014 at 9:21pm

      @Martha what fantasy land do you inhabit that makes you think that any of the cetaceans are releasable? The reality is that none of the animals there would survive in the wild. You can spin the top as much as you want but the reality is that they are doing a heck of a lot more conservation then the individuals who are protesting outside.

      The aquarium has successfully rehabilitated both an Orca (Springer) and a Porpoise (Levi) but the reality is that not every animal rescue can be re-released into the wild. At the end of the day it isn't even the aquarium's call - it is the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as to whether or not an animal is deemed fit for release.

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      Daniel Tanner

      Apr 26, 2014 at 9:45am

      I find it quite comical that the aquarium keeps responding to criticism with the same old PR spin. There's more truth at than in any press release the aquarium puts out.

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      Teresa Wagner

      Apr 26, 2014 at 3:05pm

      There are only two parties who benefit from having cetaceans in captivity: the corporations and aquariums who make money from holding them in captivity, and the visitors who are blind to and unconscious about the suffering these animals live with--robbed from their ocean home, family and culture to live on display to make humans money. Cetaceans belong in the wild, not in concrete tanks. Free the belugas.

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      Earth man

      Apr 26, 2014 at 9:07pm

      The Japanese Whaling industries use the same excuse RESEARCH.Follow the money and get the real clue.Peace.

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      Jack Williams

      Apr 27, 2014 at 9:31am

      Seriously please tell me what any of the anticaptivity activists have actually done to conserve the animals that they are so vocal about? Wait what's that crickets? Oh that's right nothing - freeing the animals isn't a solution based in reality.

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      Andrea Thorvaldson

      Apr 28, 2014 at 8:04pm

      If the coverage seems "lopsided," it's because the Vancouver Aquarium refuses to give interviews on the subject. So the Aquarium is to blame if there is "misinformation" being circulated. It's the weirdest PR strategy ever.

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