The future of the beluga whales and dolphins at the Vancouver Aquarium could be decided by a referendum this fall.
Two Vancouver Park Board politicians believe it is time the aquarium got rid of its whale and dolphin enclosures.
Commissioners Sarah Blyth and Constance Barnes both admit the aquarium does amazing conservation and marine biology work, but they also say it’s time to remove the belugas, porpoises and dolphins from captivity.
“I’d like to see whales and dolphins out of our park,” said Barnes. “Phased out, not brought out ever again. Period.”
“I’m just going to be very forward, once they are dead, they die, when they’re in captivity here we bring no more in.”
She said it is a lease that is being reviewed later this year and this is a chance to review the policies on keeping the creatures in captivity.
John Nightingale from the Vancouver Aquarium said in 1996 they became the first and the only aquarium in the world that refused to take any whales from the wild again, and they have stuck to that.