Ex-mayors pledge aquarium support
Belugas at the Vancouver Aquarium. (FILE PHOTO/24 HOURS)
Four former Vancouver mayors have lent their support to the Vancouver Aquarium amid controversy over the facility’s keeping of cetaceans.
Larry Campbell, Mike Harcourt, Philip Owen and Sam Sullivan have all signed letters in support of the aquarium as the Vancouver Park Board explores the pros and cons of keeping cetaceans in the wild.
“Eighteen years ago the aquarium took the principled stand as the first institution in the world to pledge never to capture cetaceans from the wild,” reads the letter sent by the mayors. “That pledge means the aquarium houses only whales and dolphins that cannot live in the wild.”
The letter calls the facility a tremendous asset for the city and said such injured animals would be “far better off” in the aquarium than they would be in the wild.
Opponents of keeping whales in captivity allege it is cruel and barbaric, but the aquarium insists the whales bring in revenue for research and to rescue sea creatures for medical attention.
Vancouver city council also became involved in the controversy earlier in the year as one councillor attempted to have the issue put to a plebiscite.