Ban Marine Mammal Displays at Aquarium


Target: Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation Chair Aaron Jasper

Goal: Protect whales and dolphins from spending their lives in captivity

The inhumane practice of keeping large marine mammals such as whales and dolphins in captivity could soon be banned at the Vancouver Aquarium. This ban would be a huge success for marine life and set a precedent for other aquariums displaying large marine mammals in their tanks. Please urge Vancouver Park Board Chair, Aaron Jasper, to ensure that whales and dolphins are not displayed in the Vancouver Aquarium.

This potential ban is up for consideration after the aquarium was already granted approval by the Board to expand their facilities to install larger tanks for displaying whales. Instead of putting more whales in tanks, this ban will keep them out of the aquarium and prevent them from experiencing the unfavorable and unnatural routines of life in captivity. Pressure from the public has been mounting and soon, the Board will begin hearing from the public and the aquarium on the issue of banning these graceful creatures from captivity. City officials as well as Dr. Jane Goodall have already urged the aquarium to end or phase out the display of large marine mammals.

Whales and dolphins are social creatures that can swim up to 100 miles a day and spend their lives forming close bonds with other mammals in their pod. Life in a confined tank is not comparable to natural life in the wild for these animals. The stress that results from life in captivity often results in sickness, disease and premature death. The aquarium is currently holding two Arctic beluga whales, one of whom gave birth to the other while in captivity, and two Pacific white-sided dolphins. The original beluga, named Aurora, was captured from the wild and also gave birth to two other calves that did not survive. Four out of the five calves born in captivity at the aquarium did not survive. It’s time for officials to take responsibility and make the right choice for these animals. Please help urge Aaron Jasper to ban the display of whales and dolphins at the aquarium.


Dear Mr. Jasper,

I am pleased to hear that the Vancouver Park Board is considering a ban on the display of large marine mammals such as whales and dolphins at the Vancouver Aquarium. This will ensure that marine life is left unharmed and in the oceans where it belongs. Marine mammals are curious, intelligent creatures whose natural instincts are hindered by life spent in tanks. These large mammals spend their lives forming close social pods with others of their species. This type of life and close bonding experience is not possible in aquariums. Dolphins and whales can swim up to 100 miles a day while hunting and playing in the vast ocean. This cannot be recreated by circling a tank continuously day after day. Like any creature, whales and dolphins need to be in their natural habitat where they can thrive mentally, physically and emotionally.

Please carefully consider the impact, physically and emotionally, that unnatural captivity has on marine mammals and follow in the lead of the Toronto aquarium, which does not display whales or dolphins in its tanks.

I urge you to act in the best interest of the animals by ensuring that Vancouver Aquarium will no longer participate in displaying whales and dolphins.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: NASAs via Wikimedia Commons

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