With the future of captive cetaceans at the Vancouver Aquarium in question, could belugas find a new home in Nanaimo?
Lorne Hildebrand is the president of the Deep Discovery Centre Association and is pushing for a new Marine Education Centre in that city.
He says it’s not something they’ve talked about, but would be open to hearing proposals.
“Absolutely, if they were to approach us and say, hey – we’ve got some issues and you think we can work out some answers together, we’d think that would be a wonderful opportunity. And there would certainly be nothing wrong with discussing and hearing what they’ve got to say. How our board would feel about that and keeping those kinds of animals in captivity, I don’t know how our board would react to that.”
Hildebrant adds the big questions are cost and community support.
“I don’t really know how well it would be received. I really can’t speak for the whole group at this point, we’d have to talk about it.”
Hildebrand says as currently envisioned, the Centre’s focus is on the local environment, deep sea, and human interaction and technology.
The Centre has approval in principal from Nanaimo, and is currently lining up funding and looking for a site.