BILL S-203 | What will the Free Willy bill means for Marineland

Now that the so called "Free Willy Bill" has passed a final vote in the House of Commons, what does it mean for places like Marineland?

Bill S-203, the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act, will stop places like Marineland from buying and breeding in the future.

Marineland Canada expressed specific concerns with previous clauses in the bill since some of their beluga whales are already pregnant with babies expected to be born this summer and possibly next.

The gestation period of a beluga whale is 16 months.

Executive Director Rebecca Aldworth with the Humane Society International/Canada says Bill S-203 will stop places like Marineland from buying and breeding in the future.

Aldworth says the bill has a grandfather clause that allows Marineland time to change their business model.

Marineland has applied for a number of export permits for some of the Belguas, says Aldworth.

With the passage of S-203, Aldworth says it'll be interesting to see which animals stay at Marineland.

Aldworth says Marineland has a responsibility to their animals to ensure they have appropriate retirement either at their facility or somewhere else. 

She says companies like Marineland have to change because society is changing.

Marineland says it is preparing a statement about the bills' passage.

Bill S-203 has been swimming its way through the Canadian Senate since late 2015.

Marineland in Niagara Falls and the Vancouver Aquarium are the only places that currently keep captive cetaceans.

To read Marineland's statement, click here.