Success: Aquarium Agrees to Stop Keeping Sea Mammals Captive

Target: John Nightingale, President of the Vancouver Aquarium

Goal: Praise Vancouver Aquarium for no longer keeping whales and dolphins captive.

The Vancouver aquarium has finally given in to the demands of animal rights groups, and will no longer be keeping dolphins and whales in captivity. For years, the aquarium has argued that keeping these animals captive is ‘central to their mission,’ even after municipal authorities banned them from bringing in new sea mammals following the deaths of five whales within a fifteen-month period.

Even under the best of care and circumstances, whales and dolphins suffer horribly in aquariums and sea parks; living in such confined spaces and being gawked at by onlookers can cause all manner of distress, and many whales and dolphins have fallen victim to toxins or disease as well. Petitions such as this one on ForceChange have been instrumental in fighting for the cessation of this practice.

Captivity of whales and dolphins is no longer socially acceptable in Canada, and the Vancouver Aquarium has finally fallen in step. It is hoped that with a major aquarium ceasing captivity of sea mammals, others will follow suit in other countries. Sign this petition to thank the Vancouver Aquarium for listening to public opinion and letting sea mammals live freely.


Dear Mr. Nightingale,

Thank you for finally listening to the demands of the public and ceasing your captivity of whales and dolphins. The practice has led to the deaths of many sea mammals within the past decade; even under the best of care and circumstances, these animals do not thrive in such confined spaces. Being put on display causes all manner of distress, and even death via crippled emotional and mental states.

Reports state that you intend to free the dolphins and whales you have kept over the past years. Once free, these animals will hopefully live long, happy, and healthy lives within their natural habitat, where they are meant to be. You have taken a great step forward in regards to the well-being of these creatures. It is hoped that more aquariums in other countries will follow your example.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mapelstrip

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  2. “Since the park board vote, two of the aquarium’s three remaining cetaceans have died, leaving Helen, a Pacific white-sided dolphin. HER fate has yet to be decided. CEO John Nightingale said the two available options are transporting her to a new facility, which comes with health risks, or bringing in a companion animal, which would mean defying the park board. This decision won’t affect the aquarium’s work in rescuing stranded and distressed whales and dolphins, he added.” The difference now is any rehabilitated animal that can’t be released back into the wild will have to be transferred to another facility once they’re healthy enough. But Nightingale said he’ll continue to fight for the right to temporarily house animals that aren’t ready to be moved, which could mean keeping them in display pools. “We absolutely believe in the value of whales and dolphins in engaging people.”

    ….meaning, he still fundamentally DISAGREES with the inherent wrongness of making these creatures captives.

    So I’m going to bet this “temporary” housing is going to be used as an easy-out loophole. If they REALLY cared about these sea creatures, they certainly WOULDN’T allow them to be ogled whilst being re-habbed, ADDING to their overall stress if they’re already “distressed.” And, WHAT other “facility” would they go to once healthy enough? — just another aquarium in either Canada or elsewhere?? TOO many iffy questions here to blindly “congratulate” the Vanc. Aquarium. It was LOSS OF PUBLIC MONEY that drove them to this decision, OVER the ethics of the issue. And of course this doesn’t mean they’ll stop bringing OTHER sentient creatures into their prison, either.

    • Jaime Perez Jaime Perez says:

      Thank you for that info. Let’s just hope all will go well for the sea animals. They don’t belong in captivity.

  3. Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Thank u❗️?
    Signed & shared.

  4. protects all these wonderful animals

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