NPA says it will reverse aquarium cetacean breeding decision
Published Saturday, November 15, 2014 11:53PM PST
Last Updated Sunday, November 16, 2014 7:45PM PST
The Non-Partisan Association says it will reverse the Vancouver Aquarium’s decision on cetacean breeding.
With the NPA’s newfound majority in the Vancouver Park Board, newly elected member Sarah Kirby-Yung tells CTV News that it will allow the breeding of whales in captivity at the city’s facility.
“That means that the aquarium has the ability to keep the cetaceans that they have currently at the facility,” she said Sunday. “I think it’s an emotional issue, and I think we recognize that the aquarium provides a lot of good in terms of research, conservation and education programs and we want to see that work continue.”
It’s a decision that is sure to anger conservationists, who vow to fight the new, NPA majority park board.
“We’re a little disappointed that the park board isn’t a little more whale-friendly,” said activist Jeff Matthews.
Matthews said though voters spoke their mind in the election when they voted for four NPA commissioners, support for a breeding ban remains strong.
“We’ve got lots of public support for this breeding ban, and people don’t think it’s an ethical practice anymore,” he said. “They’re breeding these animals for entertainment; it’s as simple as that.”
Re-elected mayor Gregor Robertson, who has been vocal in his support of the ban, didn’t have much to say after hearing about the NPA’s plan.
“It’ll be up to the park board. I can’t speculate on what they may do. I’ll certainly be looking forward to seeing what their next steps are,” he said.
The news is the latest development in the political battle over the ethics of keeping whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity in the City of Glass.
In August, the Vancouver Aquarium launched a legal challenge over the park board’s attempt to stop cetacean breeding at the city’s top tourist attraction.