Historic decision in Vancouver bans cetacean captivity

Vancouver's park board made a historic decision last night to ban cetacean captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium.

The aquarium had argued that it needed to keep whales and dolphins at the facility in order to conduct conservation research.

But Peter Fricker of the Vancouver Humane Society says the aquarium has only produced 13 peer-reviewed scientific papers in 30 years.

The park board voted unanimously to amend a bylaw to prohibit cetacean captivity, after two nights of emotional hearings and thousands of submissions from the public.

The unexplained deaths of two belugas at the aquarium last November helped thrust the issue of cetacean captivity into the spotlight in Vancouver.