The Vancouver Park Board has voted unanimously to ban the breeding of captive cetaceans, unless they’re endangered, at the Vancouver Aquarium after meeting for the third time to discuss the issue Thursday night.
Chair Aaron Jasper says the issue has been one of the toughest the board has dealt with, and there’s been mixed reaction.
“I was hoping that these public officials would listen to public opinion, where most people want these beautiful creatures to be freed. They don’t want them to be held in captivity, to be put in jail,” says resident Shirley Samples.
Jasper says the motion is not in an effort to phase out the captivity program. The board also ordered an oversight committee to be set up.
Aquarium CEO Dr. John Nightingale says he’s deeply disappointed.
“I thought we made a pretty compelling connection between the work that needs to be done in the field and the work that has to happen with animals in our care.”
He says staff will need time to review the park board’s decision.
More than 130 people signed up to speak on the issue.