Marineland shipping beluga whales out of the country
Two major Canadian tourist attractions are sending beluga whales outside the country as a new federal law looms that would ban exports on marine mammals.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it has approved permits for Marineland to move two belugas from the Niagara Falls facility to Oceanografic in Valencia, Spain.
The Vancouver Aquarium says it owns the two marine mammals that are being cared for by Marineland, and operates the Spanish park where they're being transferred.
They say the deal will not cost the Spanish facility any money.
Marineland has also applied to move five more belugas to the United States, but neither Fisheries nor Marineland would divulge where in the U.S. they're headed if the permits are approved.
Both facilities say the animals will receive the best care possible after their moves.
In a statement, Marineland says its Marine Mammal Welfare Committee, which includes independent, accredited experts, recently recommended that Marineland Canada re-home some of our beluga whales to accommodate belugas we expect to be born in 2019 and 2020,”
“Relocations to the United States are being undertaken to ensure that the best care possible is provided for our beluga whales.”
Meanwhile, Marineland issued what it calls a 'Statement of Principles on Whales'
It "commits Marineland to evolving to a focus on education, research and conservation, making decisions through the lens of not only what is best for the whales at Marineland, but what steps the park can take to positively contribute to wild whale populations as well."
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