News Local

NPA backs keeping cetaceans

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

A visitor at the Vancouver Aquarium. (FILE PHOTO/QMI AGENCY)

A visitor at the Vancouver Aquarium. (FILE PHOTO/QMI AGENCY)

The Vancouver Non-Partisan Association’s mayoral candidate has come out against the incumbent mayor’s position on cetacean captivity.


Contender Kirk LaPointe said in a statement Thursday the aquarium is saving cetaceans and researching them — not capturing them in the wild — and that phasing out cetaceans would have a negative economic impact.

“The Vancouver Board of Trade has stated that the aquarium, which relies on no government funding to operate, generates $59 million a year from out-of-town visitors and $8.7 million from tax revenues,” he said.

Earlier this year, Mayor Gregor Robertson said he opposes captivity when he was asked about the possibility of a city-wide referendum on cetaceans.

“My personal view is that the Vancouver Aquarium should begin to phase out the holding of whales and dolphins in captivity,” he said at the time.

Meanwhile, the Park Board has just finished several days of public input that heard speakers from both sides. It’s unclear when, or if, commissioners will make a decision on whether the aquarium should phase out cetaceans.


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