October 24th, 2010

UserPosted by: * PACT

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?

Video: Baby beluga whale Nala dies at Vancouver Aquarium

Further information:

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:

(13 July 2010)
July 2010)
(15 July 2010)
(16 July 2010)
(19 July 2010)
(20 July 2010)
(24 July 2010)


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Reference: http://www.nowhalesincaptivity.org/

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User * PACT

4 years ago

Keeping animals in captivity serves no good purpose.
I find even zoological gardens disgraceful, taking the freedom of those animals (in countries where we talk a lot about freedom) for the amusement of our children.

User R Fletcher
Political View

4 years ago

You have a point to a certain extent.

However, as stated my the late Steve Irwin, without zoo's it is far more difficult to bring the attention of the real problems to the forefront o f public awareness . For example, the real problems out there for our worlds wildlife is habitat destruction, hunting, over fishing, food shortages, climate change etc.... The problems do not exist in the zoo's. I dont believe the zoo's main purpose is entirely entertainment as it is education. Maybe some of those children will go on to become biologists, environmental activists etc. based on their early childhood experiences and exposure.

Most of the animals in captivity in todays age have been in captivity their entire lives, born and raised. Also, with trading between facilities - most new additions to zoo's are also from a life in captivity and thats all they know to be real in the world. Mostly gone are the days of trapping and containing animals. Mostly.

I agree with the topic proposed, but not so for all animals.

User T Stacey replied:

I'm just throwing a hypothetical situation out here...

What if a cetacean was listed as critically endangered? Would it not be ethically proper to hold the animal in captivity in order to repopulate the species then ease the species back into the wild?

User * PACT

4 years ago

I don't buy the idea that we're keeping animals captive for their own protection.
If the governments were serious about protecting the animals, they would go after those who kill them.

User F Arbuckle

4 years ago

I remember being a kid on Canada's west coast in the 70s. Orcas were those awful killers that most fishermen agreed should be shot on sight.

Then I went to the Vancouver aquarium and learned first hand how beautiful and intelligent these animals really are. My mind was changed forever.

While I agree that captivity is a sad place for the individual, they become ambassadors for their species, and are, I believe an essential part of the education process of the human animal.

User E Weitzel
Political View

3 years ago

Whales and dolphins should have legal rights: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/21/whales-dolphins-legal-rights?newsfeed=true

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Should the Canadian government ban the keeping in captivity of cetaceans (whales and dolphins)?

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