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The Vancouver Aquarium commenced legal proceedings in the B.C. Supreme Court on Wednesday to overturn a Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation bylaw amendment that bans the future import and display of all cetaceans from the Vancouver Aquarium’s marine science centre.
The legal petition is in response to a decision made by the Vancouver Park Board in May to prohibit the Vancouver Aquarium from importing, holding and displaying cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises).
In the legal petition, the Vancouver Aquarium cited the following key concerns with the Park Board’s decision:
“The ramifications and impacts of the Park Board bylaw amendment are so far reaching that they fundamentally change the Vancouver Aquarium’s ability to deliver its mission of conserving the world’s oceans. As a result, we have no choice but to defend ourselves,” said John Nightingale, President and CEO, Vancouver Aquarium.
The legal petition also details numerous adverse impacts from the Park Board’s bylaw amendment on the Vancouver Aquarium’s mandate of conservation and operations, including the loss of a long-term home for rescued, non-releasable cetaceans.
“We cannot stand by and allow the Park Board to threaten the health and welfare of cetaceans, or develop bylaws on the fly that undermine our animal protection, conservation, research and education mandates,” added Nightingale. “We deeply appreciate the overwhelming support we have received in recent weeks from the people of Vancouver and British Columbia. We will continue to fight the bylaw amendment so we can continue to provide the programs that benefit vulnerable cetaceans, our oceans, and the broader community.”
In May, the Board voted in favour of the following provisions in regards to the bylaw amendment:
To review the bylaw amendment in full, click here.