After a multi-year legislative battle, the Canadian government passed a bill S-203 — first introduced by now-retired Liberal senator Wilfred Moore in December 2015 which outlaws keeping whales and dolphins in captivity.
Fines of up to $200,000 could be imposed for anyone that breaks the law — a sum set intentionally high as a deterrent.
The greatest thing about it all was that this initiative showed overwhelming support across all the political parties, who argued that keeping these highly intelligent animals in small tanks is a cruel and perverse form of entertainment.
The S-203 bill also prohibits the breeding of dolphins and whales in captivity and amends the current criminal code to introduce this as a criminal act.
Accordingly, even though the current Canadian marine parks still keep these animals in captivity, they will not be allowed to breed them or capture more in the wild.
As a way to strengthen and discourage any illegal practices, the bill also bans an import of cetacean sperm, tissues, or embryos.
Animal rescue activists are making efforts to carry the rest 55 cetaceans in Marineland to an open-water shelter.
Documentaries like Black Fish promote the awareness of the adverse effects of these practices on the ecosystem, and people are becoming more mindful of the impact of their activities.
“Whales, after humans, are the only animals who can actively alter the environment of the Earth. These bulky animals dive and come back up, bringing with them nutrients from the depths which makes plant plankton thrive on the ocean surface, making the air chock-full of oxygen.
They also weed out excess shrimp numbers, making the ocean better for algae and plankton. And it doesn’t end there; whale skeletons are full of carbon locked down in the form of calcium carbonate-like compounds. And when they die, they take such huge quantities of carbon down with them to the bottom of the sea floor.
And they are just majestic animals; intelligent, empathetic, and social. Not to mention, dolphins are almost human-like in intelligence.”
Even though Canadian parties oppose on numerous other issues, they seem to share a similar opinion on legislation that will protect their environment.
Canada also banned the import of sharks’ fins.
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