From Media Entertainment Arts WorldWide:
A bill to ban whale and dolphin captivity in Canada is finally set to become law after a sinuous process that took over three years to reach a conclusion.
The House of Commons passed Bill S-203 on Monday morning. The legislation will help outlaw captive breeding and the import or export of whales, their embryos, or sperm, Canadian paper National Post reports…
As of now, only two facilities in Canada keep whales captive. These include the Vancouver Aquarium and Marineland, a theme park in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
From the Niagara Falls Review:
A U.S.-based animal advocacy group is questioning why an ad it placed on a Niagara Transit bus was removed last month.
Alex Lewis-Dorer, president of the anti-captivity group Fins and Fluke, said the ad was supposed to be displayed for the entire month of July, but was taken off the bus after three weeks.
The ad, with images of captive dolphins, beluga whales and orcas, stated “50 years ago corporations said smoking was safe.” A second caption read: “Science is speaking again on captivity. Don’t let it take another 50 years to listen.”
Mindful of a potential lawsuit, Lewis-Dorer said none of the photos were taken at Marineland in Niagara Falls.
This is from an interesting press release seen on Yahoo! Finance Canada:
Marineland is pleased to announce that the Digital Journal has today formally retracted the article it published on July 28, 2014 regarding the health and care of Kiska, Marineland’s killer whale. The complete text of the retraction appears below:
View the press release to read all the details.
Sounds there was quite a bit of excitement at Marineland on Sunday!
From the Toronto Star:
The last day of Marineland’s operating season drew hundreds of protesters outside the Niagara tourist attraction’s gates on Sunday and escalated when about 150 people stormed inside, yelling “shut it down.”
Organizers said they hadn’t planned to enter the park but set up a demonstration outside in hopes of keeping attention on sea mammal captivity in Canada, even after Marineland shuts down for the winter. The protest, which appeared to draw a crowd of at least 500 at its peak, follows a Star investigation that reported accounts by former trainers who blamed poor water quality and short-staffing for animal sickness and death.
I’ve never heard of the Orca whale Shouka, but apparently there is a bit of a movement to try to bring her to Marineland. There is a petition which states the following:
In the United States it is illegal for an orca to be in a marinepark without a companion. Shouka, a 19-year-old female orca has been without a companion for over 6 months. Another female orca, 34-year-old Kiska is in the same situation in Ontario, Canada. Her companion was taken away from her by Sea World over a custody battle in fall 2011. Both orcas would be suitable companions for each other and putting them together would solve both their isolation problems. This petition is to get Marineland France to transfer the loan agreement for over to Marineland Canada, where Shouka will have a companion of her own kind and more room to swim than her back tanks at Six Flags. This will also give Kiska a companion. Orcas are VERY social creatures, even in captivity and hate being alone. Both these orcas can (if not already) suffer from health problems due to being isolated, such as stress, ulcers, depression and can even lead to death. There is no way for these two orcas to be released into the wild, but at least let them have each other for companionship.
As of the time of this posting, there have been 125 people who have signed the petition.
Marineland has been out of the news for a few years now. I occasionally see a very small group of protestors outside the park, but other than that, it’s been quiet. That all changed this week when a lawsuit and court decision came to light about the male Orca whale they have on loan from SeaWorld. I was under the impression that Ikaika (Ike) was under permanent loan from SeaWorld in exchange for several Beluga whales. Apparently there is more to it than that. Late last year, SeaWorld terminated the agreement and asked for Ike back. Marineland has refused to give him back, and now a court has ordered them to give the whale back. Marineland says they will appeal.
This is a big deal for Marineland. For decades now, they have been known for their Orca (killer) whales. If they lose Ike, they will only have one aging female Orca whale (Kiska is 32 years old, the 5th oldest Orca in captivity). If she goes, they will have none. They were really hoping that Ike and Kiska would produce some offspring, but it hasn’t happened yet.
You can read the following articles for full details: