Should the Vancouver Aquarium still keep cetaceans in captivity? (Poll Closed)

95,254 Total Votes

  • john - 3 years ago


  • john wilson - 3 years ago


  • The Doctor - 4 years ago

  • Marsha Starr - 4 years ago

    This is not a legitimate poll when people can vote as many times as they want and there is not a safeguard against spam bots.

  • Nic - 4 years ago

    One of these things must be true:
    a) Both sides are stuffing ballots (through double-voting, scripts, etc.), or
    b) At least 28,000 humans participated, making this the most engaging and divisive poll ever featured on the Vancouver Sun website.

    Either way, I would really like to see a *real* poll commissioned on this issue. You know, the kind that uses a random selection of people from within a defined geographical area and each person only gets to answer once.

  • The Doctor - 4 years ago

    Massively spamming the vote again with Python scripts. How fcking lame can you get?

  • Laurence - 4 years ago


  • Nicole - 4 years ago

    Absolutely not! Exploiting wildlife under the guise of "education" is awful. These animals live in prisons while the aquarium earns profit from their miserable lives! How is that education?! It's pimping out animals. These are intelligent creatures who deserve to swim free with their families in the ocean, not rot away in a glass case. For what? Your momentary amusement? You get to go home, they dont. if you wouldn't want to live in a glass case with ppl gawking at you all day, then they don't either. These are highly intelligent creatures. Keeping animals on display is barbaric and cruel and selfish. It serves no purpose at all except to line the pockets off of those whose business it is to exploit animals for money.

  • Karen - 4 years ago

    Absolutely Not!!

    I'm so surprised by everyone who has voted yes. What we need to do is EDUCATE the next generation that these animals live in the wild. NOT educate them that it's okay for them to live in a concrete prison.

  • Frankie - 4 years ago

    Heal NOT! Empty the tanks for fuck sake!!there is NO a single reason to her any sort of animal in cages, tanks or any for of captivity. If the public want to see these animals there are thousands of better ways to visit animals in their natural habitat. Any other reason is bulshit. Any other person trying to justify aquarium, zoos ect say bullshit. End of the story.

  • Francesca de Wied - 4 years ago

    This facility does an excellent job of taking care of their marine mammals, and it is so important that the whales remain in the care of their qualified staff. Having these belugas under human care creates numerous opportunities for public education and research. This is an animal currently threatened by pollution and disease in the wild, and having them in a place where the public can observe and learn about them makes a huge impact on individual conservation efforts. Without zoos and aquariums, people would not experience a close connection with nature, we wouldn't have amazing research projects going on in the name of species conservation and improving animal care, and we wouldn't have the capacity to rescue, rehabilitate, and (when viable) release all the animals we do right now. The wild is no longer the wild, humans have taken it over. There are many animals we can't observe in their natural habitats anymore. Those who say zoological facilities are purely for entertainment and monetary gain are deciding to champion the actions and ideologies that will make them feel better, and not what is best for animals under human care or in the wild.

  • Marcus - 4 years ago

    Lifeforce is not a charitable organization in Canada. It's collecting money without accountability. The organization is collecting money without publishing financial statements or providing details about their programs and spending. Peter Hamilton has been spreading lies about the Vancouver Aquarium for decades and continues to do so, without providing any proof, ever.

    He is, of course, also lying about rescue & rehabilitation. It is in fact illegal in Canada (and the US) to even touch a marine mammal without permission from a Fisheries and Oceans Canada officer and punishable by law. No organization or individual can rescue an animal without consent from the federal government overseeing these activities, and every release is ordered by a fisheries officer, and never undertaken by a "community".

    Rescue and rehabilitation follows strict guidelines (NOAA & NMFS have made their public, easy to find) that take into account animal welfare.

    The Vancouver Aquarium rescues, rehabilitates and releases more than 150 marine mammal every year, most of them harbour seals, but every now and then even a larger marine mammal, such as Levi the harbour porpoise, which spent 6 months in rehabilitation, before being successfully released back into the wild in 2013. That was the first time this was possible for this species in Canada.

    Fisheries and Oceans Canada deems animals non-releasable that are unable to survive in the wild, e.g. when like Daisy (rescued in 2008), they were too young at the time of rescue to have acquired survival skills. (No neonate toothed whale has ever been successfully re-released following rehabilitation, anywhere in the world.)

    Cetaceans are rehabilitated at facilities around the world, and in many cases successfully re-released. All of them follow strict guidelines to ensure the welfare of the rescued animals, as well as the wild populations they might encounter. To discredit those efforts is to lie about facts that are easily verified.

  • Lifeforce - 4 years ago

    "Worldwide wildlife rescue organizations been saving animals for decades and they don't run an aquarium prison!"
    For decades "rescues" have been free entertainment sources for the zoo and aquarium industry. Now the captives and "rescues" can be regarded as untapped resources for research tools. A callous disregard for these sentient beings by vested interests. This can be done for lucrative grants and an attempt to justify imprisoning wildlife.
    Wildlife rescue organizations can range range from a person's home to a dedicated facility. This includes places such as Critter Care in Langley and Wolf Hollow in nearby WA. Methods have been developed over the decades by an endless list of those caring people not associated with the captivity businesses.
    Some of them with no formal training or degrees.
    Even local communities with no previous experience have done "rescues". For example, when a Grey whale stranded in Boundary Bay, BC it was locals who did the ground work until the tide came. And this year when an orca stranded on rocks in Northern BC again it was locals.
    It should also be made perfectly clear that the lone orca "Springer" was not a rescue and release by the Vancouver Aquarium. There was an international team ranging from rehab in a US sea pen to transportation to reunion site. Yes the Aquarium was there as were others who could suggest that she would be "unreleasible". Lookup the history of orcas, Luna and Morgan, to learn how that has happen by vested aquarium interests.
    Actually the Vancouver Aquarium called Lifeforce to see if we would support their plan to hold Springer in a sea pen at their Popham Island station near Vancouver. I said that Springer's home was in northern waters and must immediately be returned to her family. The rest is history as she immediately reunited.
    Perhaps that location could be used for future "rescues" and emptying the Aquarium prisons!

  • Alejandro Velásquez - 4 years ago

    End captivity... we need sanctuaries. We also need to spread awareness of what goes on in Taiji and The Solomon Islands.

  • Drew - 4 years ago

    @Sue None are from drive hunts in Taiji, nor does the Vancouver Aquarium capture animals from the wild. The only remaining cetaceans in Vancouver are rescued and rehabilitated animals deemed non-releasable by the federal government.

  • Sue - 4 years ago

    Where do you get your animals from? Do you see what goes on in Taiji to promote the slave trade of these animals? Watch The Cove to see what I am speaking of. I'm all for rescue and rehab however, if you are merely just purchasing them, shame on you!

  • Jools Orca - 4 years ago

    Every captive cetacean is suffering, don't let the marine park and aquariums tell you otherwise.
    Belugas in particular fare particularly badly - two deaths in as many weeks at the VA confirms this.
    Nothing can recreate the ocean, no matter how big the tank/pool may be - it isn't the ocean.

  • Anneke Rotmeyer - 4 years ago

    It amazes me how good the Van Aqua spin doctors are at convincing the masses that every cetacean owned by them was a "RESCUED" animal and unreleasable. And to all those who believe that... You all look like fools. The Orcas, Belugas and Dolphins that were acquired by Van Aqua are/were NOT RESCUED! They were captured or purchased with the sole intent to display them for money disguised as research. Please... Dont just believe what I post... RESEARCH what I post. And watch VancouverAquariumUncovered. Even the edited version will give you a much bigger picture of the reality. As always... #EmptyTheTanks #DontBuyATicket

    And to the Vancouver Sun... If you want an accurate poll... Make sure people can only vote once. These results are easily skewed with multiple people voting multiple times.

  • Bryce - 4 years ago

    So keeping an animal in captivity to help rehabilitate i guess would be bad for all you people to
    What just let the animal die?

    And in the sense no animals should be kept in captivity that would go for dogs and cats to

  • Nikro - 4 years ago

    Sharon, your comment makes me sick.
    How dare you talk about preservation when this whole business is just about money and modern slavery?

    Preservation? Is that why people like you forced native Americans into reservation?

  • Sharon - 4 years ago

    Your wording automatically creates a no response by using the word captivity. It would be more correct to say something about rescued animals (since they only keep those that wouldn't survive in the wild)

  • Richelle Bee - 4 years ago

    The arrogance of some human animals is astounding. We're demand rights for ourselves that we smugly deny to other species.

    #EmptyTheTanks #EmptyTheCages

  • Davy - 4 years ago

    It is horrible, they have to live in their environment. Captivity is something horrible like jail. Stop this

  • The Doctor - 4 years ago

    That is correct, the vote is easily manipulated. I've been watching the NO votes increase by 100 per minute.

  • Dale - 4 years ago

    Sam: The link to this poll showed up on Twitter and Facebook, with animal rights activists asking people to vote "NO" as many times as possible, and directions on how to do it. That kind of fanatical "YOU MUST VOTE NO HERE!!!!" is more common among activists really. But today the link was also posted in supporting Facebook groups with similar instructions. And both the "yes" and the "no" vote appeared to be going up and down during the day. These polls are completely pointless. They don't reflect opinion. That's the kind of polls Trump was pointing to when he was "WINNING IN ALL THE POLLS, BIG LEAGUE". Complete BS.

  • Sam - 4 years ago

    Interesting how NO was at near 80% until yesterday, then tonight YES started going up by about 20-30 votes every minute. You can vote multiple times by mobile. I've been watching because one of my friends who used to volunteer there said this is pretty common tactic for the captivity apologists there. If you're watching right now take a look - it's pretty blatant. YES should pass NO by about midnight. So typical for them to manipulate media like this.

  • Pat McGregor - 4 years ago

    As much as I enjoyed going to the Oak Bay Marina as a child to see the whales, dolphins and other sea life, it is not a good life for them. No species should ever be held captive in this way, especially to perform tricks for our "amusement". I used to think that the public having close access to these creatures would educate the population about them and their needs. But their need to be free was the cost of that captivity. The time has come to let them all go, once they can be released effectively back into the wild. And if there are any that cannot be released, they should go to a non-public venue where they can live out the rest of their lives in relative normalcy.

  • Linda - 4 years ago

    I think rescuing and releasing is the way to go. We have to quit using our education as an excuse to trap a species

  • Nadine - 4 years ago

    This torture needs to be outlawed! Nothing educational in seeing caged/captive neurotic animals who are desperate to be free!

  • SR - 4 years ago

    Funny that you can vote multiple times on mobile phones... not a good poll. The aquarium probably has someone voting somewhere nonstop on data.... I know I would if I were them! Or do a "not a robot" test to make it too annoying to keep revoting. I don't think 26% of people could possibly think that keeping a whale captive in these tiny tanks is a good idea... what the sociopathic rate in society? 4%? that would make more sense :P

  • Marcus - 4 years ago

    "Worldwide wildlife rescue organizations been saving animals for decades and they don't run an aquarium prison!"

    Actually, that is very misleading. The Vancouver Aquarium is the only marine mammal rescue centre in Canada capable of rescuing and rehabilitating cetaceans. Worldwide, the vast majority of facilities that rescue and rehabilitate cetaceans are operated by, integrated into or supported by zoological facilities, zoos or aquariums.

    In countries in which no such facilities exist, rescuers have no chance but to euthanize by default if re-float attempts fail - and they do regularly fail as cetaceans do not strand themselves for no reason. In the United Kingdom for instance, where no zoos or aquariums are capable for taking in cetaceans for rehabilitation, harbour porpoise and dolphins are regularly euthanized even if otherwise they would have a chance for rehabilitation and successful release. That rehabilitation and release of those animals is possible and in fact can be done with a high success rate is demonstrated by amazing facilities such as SOS Dolfijn in the Netherlands. The Vancouver Aquarium has also had success with the rehabilitation and release of small cetaceans (harbour porpoise Levi and killer whale Springer are great success stories).

    Even when animals cannot be returned into the wild, as determined by government authorities, they deserve a chance - and they can do good. Captive harbour porpoise in Denmark for instance have contributed significantly to conservation biology; research conducted there has yielded some important knowledge required to protect these vulnerable small cetaceans which in parts of their range are endangered, and in many places are in decline.

    Even ex-situ conservation efforts such as those now considered for the vaquita and already in progress for the finless porpoise (Yangtze population) are only made possible thanks to the experience those organizations have with captive cetaceans.

    No decision should be made that in any way impacts the Aquarium's ability to take in rescued and rehabilitated animals.

  • Lifeforce - 4 years ago

    “Aurora” is the 52nd cetacean who has died as a result of the Vancouver Aquarium cetacean slave trade in the past 52 years. At least 9 orcas, 7 narwhals, 21 belugas, 1 Harbour porpoise, and 14 Pacific white-sided dolphins have died! No orca babies survived and belugas also died at a very young age. Qila had a failed pregnancy in 2001 and her 3 year old died in 2011. Her mom , "Aurora", lost another 3 year old in 2005. Aurora was one of three sent to Vancouver. The two males captured in 1990 and a female captured in 1985 were later sent to Sea Worlds. In 2015, Nanuq, the father of Qila, died from a fractured jaw during a fight with other belugas.

    Captive cetaceans are not needed for test tube experiments under the guise of conservation. The answers have been discovered through field studies of natural behaviours. And certainly captives are not needed to to be able to do rescues. Worldwide wildlife rescue organizations been saving animals for decades and they don't run an aquarium prison!

  • Julie - 4 years ago

    No. Certainly not for entertainment or breeding purposes. Captivity is cruel, only in rescue and rehabilitation situations and in a sea pen with definite future release dates...cetaceans do not belong in an aquarium.

  • Kirsten - 4 years ago

    No more of this. I am so tired of hearing about animals, fish, etc at zoos and aquariums around the world dying, being killed, injured, shot, etc. The ONLY time I support this is if it is a rehabilitation sanctuary, the animal can not for whatever reason survive on its own, preservation - births, etc. Not for our viewing pleasure. Not to see it jump for treats at our command, or to see them laying on a rock in a cage. Enough!

  • Anneke Rotmeyer - 4 years ago

    #EmptyTheTanks #DontBuyATicket #CaptivityKills

  • Sandra Pollard - 4 years ago

    I'm surprised the question even needs to be asked in this supposedly enlightened age.

  • Jean - 4 years ago

    Absolutely NO. The aquarium should continue their excellent work on marine rescue and if at all possible rescues once healthy, returned to their natural habitat.

    The Vancouver aquarium could also be involved in setting up and working with those who want to set up a sanctuary on the coast for all the whales still in captivity.

    Instead of leaving the whales they own that are being rented out to American aquariums for breeding purposes they need to create a sanctuary and bring those whales back.

    There should be no whales or dolphins bred in captivity. It's the least humans can do for the animals after all the years humans have treated them for the last 2 centuries.

  • Demetra - 4 years ago

    It makes me happy to see hearts and minds changing as we view our highly intelligent cetacean friends as worthy of living in freedom as nature intended.

  • Demetra - 4 years ago

    It makes me happy to see hearts and minds being changing as we view our highly intelligent cetacean friends as worthy of living in freedom as nature intended.

  • Robert - 4 years ago

    This question is absurd. Should the Vancouver aquarium capture, no, of course not, should the aquarium rescue, yes. Should the aquarium should be a place of conservation and study, yes. This question obfuscates the mission of the Aquarium and the Vancouver Sun should be ashamed for resorting to clickbait.

  • Dianne Ackerman - 4 years ago

    We should take in mammals that are injured and can be returned to the wild if possible. No more captivate mammals ............the days of having animals for our entertainment are over thankfully now that we have such amazing access with the internet. These amazing mammals should be allowed to live free in the wild. Thank you.

  • Jonathan - 4 years ago


  • Janice - 4 years ago


  • Owl - 4 years ago

    Gods, NO. People, GET A GRIP. How is this even "still" a question? SLAVERY AND ABUSE is not conservation and education. It is a terrifying, heartbreaking, shameful mess.

  • Matt - 4 years ago

    Absolutely not. These are sentient animals that suffer beyond what we can imagine when forced to live their lives in a prison for our enjoyment. It's disgusting and barbaric. The aquarium can make no convincing argument for their captivity.

  • Ellen - 4 years ago

    A child can tell you more about a dinosaur than he can about elephants. Or dolphins. All zoos including aquaprisons need to be shut down, especially when their survival rates are deplorable.

  • Kelly - 4 years ago

    There's nothing educational about watching dolphins and orcas perform tricks for food, self harm and stare at concrete walls. You learn about animals in their natural habit.

  • Julie Cunningham - 4 years ago

    The only things that zoos teach children is that animal cruelty and imprisonment and torture beyond your wildest imaginations is socially acceptable and a "fun learning experience". This is so absolutely and obviously, cruelly wrong. It is every animal's right to live freely in their natural habitats. We have to change this now. Kids get it - they overwhelming love animals and want them to be free too. Our sick society teaches them otherwise and then some of us grow up thinking that captivity is in anyway ok. I don't understand how or why people can't put themselves in the place of these animals. You really can't imagine being stuck in your bathtub for your whole life? There is absolutely zero way to rationalize it, I don't give a fuck what hypothetical conditions you can dream up to put on it. End captivity. Stop capturing whales. Stop destroying their habitat and injuring them and killing them and decimating their populations in the first fucking place. Stop blasting sonars and engine noise through the oceans deafening the beauty of their language, torturing them, and murdering them horribly by sending pressure waves through their bodies until it bursts their brains. Children understand the love for animals, why can't we? And if you really care about educational fun shit - there is no comparison to connecting and seeing animals in their freedom all around you.

  • mari - 4 years ago

    Absolutely NO.. Anyone who says yes either doesn't know what a cetacean is, or should spend 20+ years in their bathtub.

  • mari - 4 years ago

    Absolutely NO.. Anyone who says yes either doesn't know what a cetacean is, or should spend 20+ years in their bathtub.

  • Cheslyn Helmus - 4 years ago

    BIG FAT NO! Those who clicked yes should be ashamed!

  • Julia - 4 years ago

    It's a definite 'No' from me. Please do not buy a ticket to a zoo or an aquarium. All animals should be respected and only admired in their natural habitats.

  • Magdalena - 4 years ago

    No for captivity, all animals should live in their natural habitats, keeping them for human entertainment is wrong and cruel!

  • Felecia - 4 years ago

    Zoo's and aquariums are champions for Animal conservation and education. Thank you for all you do!

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