Aquarium association troubled by Vancouver vote

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Park Board votes to ban cetaceans'
Vancouver Park Board votes to ban cetaceans
WATCH: The Vancouver Aquarium isn’t hiding its anger and frustration at a decision by the Vancouver Park Board last night to ban the importation and display of cetaceans – Mar 10, 2017

VANCOUVER – An aquarium and zoo industry group says a park board vote to ban cetacean captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium is “troubling” and it will work with the facility to influence the policy.

Dan Ashe of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums says if the board prohibits whales, dolphins and porpoises at the facility it will hinder scientific research supporting conservation and deprive visitors from the opportunity to see marine mammals up close.

The park board voted unanimously Thursday night to ask staff to bring forward a bylaw amendment to prohibit the importation and display of live cetaceans in Vancouver parks.

The deaths of belugas Aurora and daughter Qila last November thrust the issue of cetaceans in captivity into the spotlight.

READ MORE: Vancouver Aquarium faces criticism in beluga death

Peter Fricker of the Vancouver Humane Society says the aquarium’s research is not substantive and a review by his group found it had only published 13 peer-reviewed scientific papers in 30 years.

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No one at the Vancouver Aquarium was immediately available for an interview Friday.

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