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Mass stranding of pilot whales in Tasmania

Mass stranding of pilot whales in Tasmania

Over 450 pilot whales have stranded in various locations along a stretch of coastline in...
Tahlequah, the Southern Resident orca, gives birth to healthy calf

Tahlequah, the Southern Resident orca, gives birth to healthy calf

J35 and J57. Photo by Katie Jones, Center for Whale Research / Permit #21238 Tahlequah...
Why do female orcas live so long after they stop having babies?

Why do female orcas live so long after they stop having babies?

Orcas are one of only five species known to experience menopause and females can live...
Humpback whales swim up river in Kakadu National Park

Humpback whales swim up river in Kakadu National Park

Wildlife experts in Australia's Northern Territory are monitoring a humpback whale that has travelled 18...

An end to captivity in Canada?

After being stalled in the Canadian Senate since November 2017, a bill that would ban whale and dolphin captivity in Canada is finally moving forward.  If S-203 passes the Senate, it will be voted on by Parliament and be one step closer to becoming law.

The bill would criminalize holding whales and dolphins captive in Canada, but grandfathers in those already held.  Research and rescue are allowed under the bill, and a clause recognizing First Nations treaty rights was added.  Banning captivity in Canada has wide public support, with opposition to the industry increasing in recent years.

Public outcry against captivity led to Vancouver Aquarium’s recent announcement that they would no longer hold whales and dolphins captive, and now their CEO, John Nightingale, has announced he will retire at the end of 2018.  Nightingale oversaw the Aquarium for 25 years, through growing public oppostion to captivity and a sad series of deaths in the last few years.

The Aquarium’s announcement earlier this year followed a vote by the Vancouver Park Board to prevent any new whales and dolphins from being brought into captivity, citing ethical concerns.  The Vancouver Aquarium followed in the footsteps of other establishments in the captivity industry that enacted changes following the release of the documentary Blackfish and the resulting flood of opposition, including the National Aquarium in Baltimore and SeaWorld.

The Aquarium has just one dolphin remaining at the facility, and a reported four belugas on loan to other institutions.  These individuals are potential candidates to be moved to a more natural sanctuary environment, such as the sanctuary WDC is developing with Merlin Entertainments.