Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent bycatch
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
I'm an Orca Hero!

Everyone can be an Orca Hero!

Orca Action Month is an annual time to gather the human community of the Pacific...
Beluga Sanctuary Update – July 1st

Beluga Sanctuary Update – July 1st

Update: 1st July 2020 We have been working to relocate belugas, Little Grey and Little...
WDC funded research shows ‘pingers’ could save porpoises from fishing nets

WDC funded research shows ‘pingers’ could save porpoises from fishing nets

Underwater sound devices called ‘pingers’ could be an effective, long-term way to prevent porpoises getting...
We were SO close.

We were SO close.

We were so close. Because of the past couple of years, June makes me incredibly...
Significant Victory for WDC in Fight to Save World’s Smallest Dolphins

Significant Victory for WDC in Fight to Save World’s Smallest Dolphins

A significant victory in the fight to save dolphins in New Zealand from extinction! This...
Beluga Whale Sanctuary Update!

Beluga Whale Sanctuary Update!

We’re pleased to confirm Little Grey and Little White are now just days away from...
Whales, dolphins, porpoises and healthy seas under lockdown

Whales, dolphins, porpoises and healthy seas under lockdown

Anyone watching blue, humpback or sperm whales can clearly see and hear the power-packed spout...
Breaking down the racial barriers to Whale and Dolphin Conservation

Breaking down the racial barriers to Whale and Dolphin Conservation

The recovery of whale populations is key to mitigating climate change. Climate change disproportionately impacts...

Canada outlaws holding whales and dolphins in captivity

captivity_belugas_usa_wdcs
Canadian flag
captivity5

It’s official!  Canada’s “Free Willy” bill S-203 has been passed into law, making it illegal to hold whales and dolphins in captivity in Canada.  While the bill incorporates individuals currently held in facilities – now just Marineland Canada in Ontario and the Vancouver Aquarium in British Columbia (which has already committed to phasing out its captive-held whales and dolphins) – it outlaws captive breeding and the display and trade of whales and dolphins.

We at WDC are celebrating with our friends in Canada who worked so hard to ensure this bill passed.  After being introduced in 2015, S-203 faced unprecedented efforts to stall, delay, and halt passage in the Canadian Senate, despite overwhelming and widespread support among Canadians.  Fears grew as the current Parliamentary session neared its end before the next federal election, as failure to pass before Parliament adjourned would have permanently killed the bill.

In the nick of time, and thanks to a last-minute surge of effort from Canadian animal welfare groups, S-203 has passed the House of Commons and is on its way to the desk of Prime Minister Trudeau.  “We are thrilled that S-203 will now become law, and Canada has joined the growing list of countries, states, and communities that recognize the cruelty of holding whales and dolphins captive,” said Colleen Weiler, Jessica Rekos Fellow with WDC.  “Today we celebrate, and tomorrow we go back to work to ensure the welfare and protection of those still held captive in Canada.”

WDC is working with the SEA LIFE Trust to welcome two captive-held belugas to the world’s first ever sanctuary for whales and dolphins.  Sea sanctuaries provide a more natural alternative for captive-held whales and dolphins, and we hope that more of these sanctuaries can be established to provide a home for all whales and dolphins currently held in captivity.

Related News

I'm an Orca Hero!

Everyone can be an Orca Hero!

Orca Action Month is an annual time to gather the human community of the Pacific Northwest around the endangered Southern Resident orca population, sharing their...
Beluga Sanctuary Update – July 1st

Beluga Sanctuary Update – July 1st

Update: 1st July 2020 We have been working to relocate belugas, Little Grey and Little White from their land-side care facilities to their sea sanctuary...
WDC funded research shows ‘pingers’ could save porpoises from fishing nets

WDC funded research shows ‘pingers’ could save porpoises from fishing nets

Underwater sound devices called ‘pingers’ could be an effective, long-term way to prevent porpoises getting caught in fishing nets without having negative effects on their...
We were SO close.

We were SO close.

We were so close. Because of the past couple of years, June makes me incredibly nervous. In June of 2019, I heard the news of...