Open letter from Vancouver Aquarium to Vancouverites on the cetacean ban

Apr 27 2017, 12:00 am

The City of Vancouver and Vancouver Park Board recently proposed a ban that impacts Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Program. To educate readers about what could happen as a result of the proposed ban, Vancouver Aquarium has released the following letter.

Dear Vancouver,

Every year, hundreds of sick, injured or orphaned marine mammals are found stranded along our coastline.

Most are treated, rehabilitated, and successfully released back into the wild by Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Program, the only hospital and care facilities of its kind in Canada. But for some, the extent of their injuries or lack of basic survival skills means they cannot survive in their natural habitat, and they need a place to call home.

That’s where we come in.

At the Vancouver Aquarium, we have specialized resources and expertise to care for rescued marine mammals that cannot return to the wild. We’ve been doing this for over 50 years, and it’s a key part of our mission. But now, this important work is being put at risk.

That’s why we’re writing to you today.

We’re deeply concerned about a recent proposal by the Vancouver Park Board to ban cetaceans – whales, dolphins, and porpoises – from the Vancouver Aquarium. Not only would the proposed ban jeopardize Canada’s only Marine Mammal Rescue Program, it would eliminate our ability to save the most vulnerable animals – those that cannot care for themselves.

So, what would this mean for rescued animals that cannot return to their natural habitat?

At best, costly and complex relocation to other facilities around the world. At worst, euthanasia. It also raises serious questions about the future of rescued animals currently in our care.

We have heard from thousands of people who believe the Aquarium must maintain the ability to rescue and care for marine mammals unable to survive on their own.

That’s where you come in.

We ask you to learn more about the great work being done every day in our city to save animals in distress, and help foster an informed and engaged conversation about how we can best ensure their care, now and in the future.


Your Vancouver Aquarium

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