October 24th, 2010
|Posted by: * OPC|
Banning the captivity and trade of whales and dolphins
Whales, dolphins and porpoises are marine mammals known as "cetaceans". Cetaceans are highly intelligent and self-aware creatures that suffer from being held in captivity at aquatic parks, where conditions are nothing like life in the sea. Furthermore, cetaceans on public display often originate from bloody drives such as those seen in the Academy Award-winning documentary "The Cove", where hundreds of dolphins die so that a few can be rounded up and sold to parks around the world.
Canada has been negligent on this issue, and has fallen behind policies in place in other countries:
Some countries have banned the live imports or exports of cetaceans. These include Cyprus (imports are prohibited), Hungary (imports), India (imports), Chile (prohibits the import and export of dolphins for public display), Costa Rica (imports and exports), Argentina (imports from the Russian Federation), Mexico (trade in wild-caught animals) and Malaysia (exports are prohibited, as are imports of marine mammal species already found in Malaysia).
Other nations have banned the live capture of cetaceans in their waters. These include Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina (orca captures are prohibited), Nicaragua, Australia, China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong), Indonesia (live captures of Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mahakam River are prohibited), Laos (live captures of Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins are prohibited), Chile (capture of dolphins for public display is prohibited), Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
Furthermore, some countries have implemented strict legislation for the keeping of cetaceans in captivity. Among these are the United Kingdom and Brazil, neither of which holds cetaceans in captivity, and Italy, which bans swim-with-the-dolphins and other interaction programs. Recently, Chile prohibited the commercial display of all cetacean species (as well as sea lions, marine turtles, and seabirds such as penguins). The Netherlands Antilles has capped its public display licenses at two; beyond a public display facility that currently exists in Curaçao and one that has been proposed for St. Maarten, no more licenses will be considered.
The question put forth is: Should the Canadian government implement an immediate ban on the live capture of, importing and exporting of, and keeping in captivity of cetaceans?
No Whales in Captivity (based in Vancouver)
The Humane Society of the United States
Recently, Vancouver residents almost had the chance to vote on the captivity
issue, which could have resulted in changes at its local parks such as the
Vancouver Aquarium – but the Vancouver Park Board’s commissioners voted
against holding a plebiscite. Further reading on that:
ivity-vancouver-park-commissioner-suggests (13 July 2010)
rium-vote.html (15 July 2010)
uit/3286979/story.html (16 July 2010)
19/20100719?hub=BritishColumbiaHome (19 July 2010)
g+whales+dolphins+captivity/3298396/story.html (20 July 2010)
ity-sfu-researcher-may-have-solution (24 July 2010)
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