Park Board bylaw banning Vancouver Aquarium's captive cetaceans ruled 'unenforceable' by BC Supreme Court

Feb 10 2018, 6:02 am

A bylaw from the Vancouver Park Board that banned cetaceans from being kept in captivity has been ruled unenforceable by the BC Supreme Court, thanks to a contract that extends to 2029 between the Vancouver Aquarium and the Park Board.

But the decision comes after the Aquarium announced just three weeks ago that it’s future plans don’t include whales or dolphins.

Instead, the facility said at the time it plans to focus on “raising awareness of ocean issues impacting other marine animals and will no longer display cetaceans at its facility,” said Vancouver Aquarium and Ocean Wise CEO and president, Dr. John Nightingale.

The only exception to this is “doing what is best for Pacific white-sided dolphin Helen – and any need to use the aquarium for the temporary accommodation of a rescued cetacean,” Nightingale added.

In response to Tuesday’s decision, the Aquarium issued a statement that it was “pleased” with the Supreme Court’s decision and that our position has been sustained by the BC Supreme Court.”

However, the Vancouver Aquarium also said it will “need to take the time necessary to review the judgment with our legal counsel and consider the implications it may have on our organization, before determining our future course of action or making any further public statements.”

For its part, the Vancouver Park Board said it’s “obviously disappointed with the conclusion the court reached in this matter.”

In a statement, the Board said it would be “reviewing the reasons for judgment and considering its options going forward.”

More to come….

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