NEW YORK, Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Investorideas.com (www.investorideas.com), a global news source covering leading sectors including the environment and water, issues editorial commentary on the pending Vancouver election and the outcome that could change the fate of cetaceans in captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium.
In the battle between NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe and Vancouver Mayor, Gregor Robertson, voters need to dig deeper and look at some of the possible outcomes based on who is elected. It is very clear that Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is in support of phasing out the breeding program at the Vancouver Aquarium, a decision that was made earlier this year by the Park Board Commissioners.
Vancouver Park Board meetings were held on Saturday July 26th and Monday July 28th, 2014. The special meetings addressed the issue of keeping captive cetaceans (like whales and dolphins) in Stanley Park.
The Park Board Commissioners met on Thursday, July 31st and voted unanimously to allow the aquarium to keep whales and dolphins in captivity but did order an end to the breeding program (unless it was to preserve a threatened species). They also ordered the creation of a third party oversight committee, consisting of animal welfare experts, to ensure the well-being of the captive animals. This was one of the many proposals the SPCA had put forth that the Vancouver Aquarium immediately rejected.
Following the decision, social media was alive with excitement with all the advocates supporting the well-being of cetaceans. This was a victory that was celebrated by all.
I was one of the speakers (84) at the meetings and felt that, in spite of the Vancouver Aquarium making its best efforts to pack the hearing room with paid staff with an obvious agenda, our voices were heard.
Perspective From Speaking at the Vancouver Parks Board Meeting on Issue of Keeping Captive Cetaceans http://www.investorideas.com/news/2014/main/07303.asp
Now all the hard work, due diligence and courageous decision making is at risk due to the possible election of NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe.
A recent article in the Huffington post leads us to questions about how much political power does the Vancouver Aquarium have … "Enter current NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe, whose strong language on the issue leaves no uncertainty about where his allegiance lies. He says he "deplores" Mayor Gregor Robertson's stance against cetacean captivity and promises to overturn the recent bylaw changes if he is elected. Among Lapointe's approved slate of park board candidates in November's civic election? Sarah Kirby-Yung, a marketing executive with no previous political experience, who just happened to hold the position of vice president of marketing and communications at the Vancouver Aquarium from 2008 to 2010." (source: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jeff-matthews/vancouver-aquarium-political-gaming_b_6084122.html)
Vancouver Aquarium's website tells readers, "Vancouverites are proud of their Aquarium and its worldwide reputation as a leading marine science centre. Our members and supporters have asked us not to stand idle while our 1,500 staff and volunteers are attacked by a network of activists-many of whom do not live in Canada, let alone Vancouver-who continue to actively disperse misinformation about our commitments, our practices and our people."
If readers go to Vanaquafacts (http://www.vanaquafacts.org) they may find information that contradicts the general information and opinion of how the Aquarium really works. It is in the best interest of voters to spend a few moments performing their own due diligence and making an informed decision.
Fact Number 3- The Connection to "The Cove"
All visitors to the aquarium are told that their two dolphins, Hana and Helen were rescued from fishermen's nets and are unsuitable for release. However, they neglect to say that the pair were purchased from Enoshima Aquarium, which is notorious for its involvement in dolphin drive hunts like those featured in the film "The Cove". By purchasing Hana and Helen, Enoshima had room to bring in more wild dolphins from the drive hunt. VanAqua's purchase indirectly supported this despicable slaughter.
In a recent video interview with Investor Ideas, well-known dolphin advocate Ric O'Barry (The Cove) shared his views on how dolphins in captivity compare to wild dolphins telling us, "I have seen so many dolphins that were born inside of a building.. all over Europe. I was just there, Greece and Belgium and Sweden. And here the dolphins are born inside of a building; inside basically a swimming pool. They have never seen a live fish in their life. They don't know what that is. They have no idea what the tide is. A simple thing like the tide, or the currents or the sounds of the sea; they don't know what that is. They think that the ceiling is the sky. These are freaks that we have created for our amusement. They don't represent dolphins in the real ecosystem in nature anymore then Mickey Mouse represents a real mouse. So they are very different then real dolphins in the real world. And if there was a way for SeaWorld of the Vancouver Aquarium or Miami Seaaqurium to display a dolphin so that it served to acquaint us with who they are and how they are in nature then it might have some positive educational value; but they can't do that. So they simply bastardize the definition of education; and we all buy it. But Blackfish and The Cove and movies like this are changing all of that; because people are getting the truth now. Since 1938 we have been lied to. Ever since the first dolphin was put in captivity …we have been doing the same show and the same lies of education research and conservation and finally the jig is up. People are learning the truth…."
The interview was conducted by the Investor Ideas team, led by Cali Van Zant in Miami, FL at Ric O'Barry's home following his return from Taiji, Japan and the Dominican Republic.
Investorideas.com interview with Ric O'Barry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRoQmGU4fUQ
So when voters go to make their decision and enter the booth on Saturday, remember that there is a lot more at stake than maybe you were aware of. It's not just about the cetaceans. It's also about our rights and how a decision that can be made (and the cost and time associated to the hearings let's not forget) can be overturned based on the money behind the candidate. Know all the agendas, what is at risk and who is acting on their principals or paycheck.
The Vancouver Aquarium cetacean breeding program... is no longer defensible by science.
— Dr. Jane Goodall, Celebrated Primatologist and Ethologist
I'd like to see whales and dolphins out of our park. Phased out, not brought out ever again. Period.
— Constance Barnes, Vancouver Park Board Commissioner
The Vancouver Aquarium should begin to phase out the holding of whales and dolphins in captivity.
— Vancouver Mayor, Gregor Robertson
Comments can be sent to the Vancouver Park Board at [email protected]
Follow-up on Perspective from Speaking at the Vancouver Park Board Meeting Following Decision on Keeping Captive Cetaceans and Breeding Programs
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