Canada is banning the capture of marine mammals such as whales, dolphins and porpoises with a new proposed legislation presented by the Liberals in the House of Commons.
Bill C-68, which was introduced by the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, prohibits the fishing of cetaceans “with intent to take them into captivity.” It is a response to the changing public acceptance of keeping the creatures in captivity, which most Canadians are in line with.
In Canada, there are only two facilities which hold marine mammals in captivity: Marineland in Niagara Falls and the Vancouver Aquarium. The latter showed its support for the legislation, and expectedly so — back in 1996, it was the first aquarium in the world to commit to no longer collecting wild cetaceans for display.
“We applaud Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Minister LeBlanc, for supporting a practice that we pioneered more than 20 years ago,” the aquarium said in a statement. “As Canada’s only Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, we appreciate the ongoing support the Minister provides to protect stranded, sick or injured cetaceans that require rescue and care.”
Marineland, on the other hand, has yet to comment on the legislation. Those who oppose it rationalize that the ban would only “threaten conservation efforts” on theme parks that have the animals on display.