After 3 years the Canadian Senate has finally passed a Bill to outlaw the captivity of whales, dolphins and porpoises in Canada.

Bill S-203 now needs to be passed by the House of Commons by May. If it is approved, a fine of up to $200,000 could be imposed on anyone keeping and breeding whales and dolphins in captivity.

Liberal senator Wilfred Moore introduced the Bill in December 2015 and fought a long legislative battle to get it passed. He retired last year and was not present when the Bill passed. It will now be sent to the Commons for further debate among MPs which could already take place before the end of this week. The final vote could be before the end of April 2019.

There are two captive facilities in Canada that would be affected: Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Vancouver Aquarium which both opposed the ban. Vancouver Aquarium holds a single Pacific white-sided dolphin, Helen, in captivity. They usually live in groups of 10 and up to hundreds and even thousands in the wild. Vancouver Aquarium recently stated it would no longer display whales or dolphins as protests have become a "distraction" for their business.

Marineland holds a single orca, Kiska, caught from the wild in 1981, around 50 belugas and five Black Sea bottlenose dolphins captive in small tanks. The bill will phase out captivity over time through a breeding ban because it would also prohibit the importing of whales, dolphins or porpoises, or their sperm, tissue cultures or embryos.

However, Marineland would still be able to keep the whales and dolphins it holds even if the legislation passes the House of Commons next year. The growing uneasiness with the concept of keeping orcas and other dolphins and whales in captivity has only been increased by the renowned documentary Blackfish, documenting the reality of the captives' existence. The Bill excludes rescue and sanctuaries for whales and dolphins.

Many supporters of the Bill hope that the whales and dolphins who are currently held captive in Canada could be relocated to a sea sanctuary where they can live more natural lives if they cannot be returned to the wild. WDC is currently building the world’s first beluga whale sanctuary with Sea Life Trust in Iceland and is also working in partnership with other sanctuary projects, such as the Whale Sanctuary Project in North America and the Dolphin Sea Refuge in Italy.

It is hoped these projects will help to encourage the rehabilitation of more captive whales and dolphins into natural environments around the world, and one day help to bring an end to whale and dolphin entertainment shows.

Responses to "Canada Passes A Bill That Bans The Captivity Of Dolphins And Whales "

  1. Unknown says:

    Why would Marineland get to keep Kiska, the belugas and dolphins after the bill DOES pass... they are not a rescue or sanctuary? Hasn't Kiska suffered enough... almost 40 years circling by herself in her own personal hellish bathtub... completely tragic!

  2. Ty says:

    That’s absolutely incredible news!

  3. Bravo to CANADA!!! WHY CAN'T WE PASS THIS HERE? The USA or any country, in fact, has NO RIGHTS to hold dolphins whales or any fish or wild life captive unless they are ill and being rehabilitated.

  4. KorSavage says:

    ok this is stupid, what about rehab and release programs? What about the whales and dolphins that are so injured they wouldn't make it in the wild? What about the whales and dolphins that were born and bread in captivity and don't know anything else? What about the potential endandered species that they may have in captivity rn that if they let go might be extinct? People really need to think things through before passing laws that will probably end up doing more harm than good, just saying.

  5. Unknown says:

    Korsavage, I suggest you read the article. You will find the answers to your questions there.

  6. Garion says:

    Release them all immediately. No sanctuaries holding tanks or breeding. EMPTY THE TANKS! They will be where they WANT to be.

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