Marineland just applied for a permit to sell five of its Beluga whales to the US for research and breeding. The Canadian aquarium and amusement park is an exception to Canada's recent ban on keeping whales, dolphins, and porpoises captive. The Marineland belugas could be at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut by January 2020, according to the Toronto Star

Bill S-203, which was passed in June of this year, is meant to prevent the captivity of whales and dolphins in Canada. Marineland is an exemption, however, and was grandfathered in the legislation. This means that old rules that were more lax on this subject continue to apply to the popular tourist attraction. Marineland is allowed to keep the marine life that they already had before the new bill was passed.

Looks like even though the Canadian laws have changed on this, Marineland continues to want to engage in activities that are otherwise illegal in Canada. Just recently, they were allowed to export two belugas to Spain, even though exporting or importing whales is now against the law for everyone else in Canada. 

Based on a statement they released, Marineland states this move would be a beneficial one. 

“We welcome the opportunity to support Mystic Aquarium’s world-class research and are confident that the series of research studies they intend to undertake will significantly improve humanity’s understanding of this species, and positively promote conservation of wild beluga populations,” Marineland said in a statement, CityNews reports.

The move of the five belugas will require two permits from the federal government, one of which was already approved. Marineland hasn't applied for the second permit yet, The Star reports. 

It looks like they are operating on some exceptions to Bill S-203. These exceptions are that Marineland is confident that the transport is for research purposes and for the best interest of the animals, both of which are allowed under the bill.

However, it seems that some Canadians are disagreeing with this move. 

Out of the five whales Marineland is looking to export, Mystic Aquarium will own two of them. The Georgia Aquarium will own three, according to the Toronto Sun.

Narcity has reached out to Marineland for comment.


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