Time to actually Free Willy: Canada’s ‘Whale Ban’ is officially in effect
Whale, whale, whale. It’s time for a whale ban (finally)! Not just whales, either, Canada has banned cetaceans altogether. That means no more orcas, dolphins or porpoises. Dubbed the ‘Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act’, Bill S-203 has taken roughly three years to pass.
For those of you who really wanted to see some dolphins in captivity this summer, you still can. All cetaceans that are currently in captivity are being grandfathered in, it’s just no new ones. Personally, we think it’s a step in the right direction for Canada.
The two major aquariums in Canada, Marineland (Ontario) and The Vancouver Aquarium (BC) reacted differently to the bill. Marineland actively opposed it- they have just over 5 dozen animals in captivity, mostly beluga whales. They’ve also got one orca and some dolphins.
Meanwhile, the Vancouver Aquarium only has 1 dolphin. And, they announced earlier this year that they would no longer keep them in captivity anyway.
There are exceptions to the bill as well, cetaceans can be kept for rehabilitative porpoises (ha) and for research. Otherwise, those who are caught breaking the law can face fines of up to $200k.
One last fun fact- the bill also bans keeping cetacean reproductive materials. Looks like we’re going to have to talk to Greg in accounting about his side business, that weirdo.