27 January 2017
As the citizens of Vancouver look set to consider the future display of whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) at the famous Aquarium, the Park Board has been discussing a motion not to import more cetaceans until a deciding vote.
Chair of the board, Sarah Kirby-Yung, had proposed a motion earlier this week asking the Aquarium to consider not bringing more cetaceans into the facility until the results of the public vote are known. Scheduled in 2018, the vote will decide whether the Aquarium will continue to keep cetaceans. If the public vote is in favour of continuing to keep these animals, then the Aquarium has proposed to increase tank size. However, with no orcas or beluga whales currently at the Aquarium, it is hoped that the Aquarium's Board will agree not bring in more cetaceans until vote results are known.
The proposal for a vote by the residents of Vancouver on the future keeping of captive whales at Vancouver Aquarium arose last year following the deaths of the Aquariums last two beluga whales, Qila and Aurora, who died just nine days apart in November 2016. With the loss of the remaining whales; the beluga tanks at Vancouver Aquarium are now empty, making this the ideal time for the Aquarium to ban the import of any more whales.