Good News: Canada Bans The Captivity Of Whales And Dolphins

Good News: Canada Bans The Captivity Of Whales And Dolphins

Until very recently, cetaceans have always been at the top of the human hit-list. Each part of a whale’s body is usable, while dolphins make for easy and nutritious prey amongst mariners. (See also the great American novel, Moby Dick).


Whale hunting has recently been banned in most nations of the world. However, given a large number of cetaceans man has already eliminated from the world’s oceans, the damage will possibly be irreversible. According to scientific estimates, at the current rate, whale populations would not even reach half their pre-whaling numbers by 2100.


Canada, that beacon for hope in several cases has come up and passed a law that makes illegitimate one of the last remaining justification people had to retain and breed dolphins: scientific observation.


Canada has passed what a new bill called S-203, which bans the capture of cetaceans for display and observation in and by aquariums. That process began in 2015 itself just after the Trudeau government came into power, after lots of debates and grueling amendments.


Another bill, S-238, will cover the importation and exportation of shark fins, that is extracted mostly by Chinese fishermen in one of the cruelest of ways. The sharks, primarily juvenile are lifted onto the boat, have their fins removed, and dumped back into the ocean alive and in extreme pain. Sharks, unlike other fish must keep swimming or they will drown. Therefore, do the math.


The bill sponsored by Sen. Michael MacDonald will ban aquariums and observatories like ‘Marineland’ from capturing more of these beautiful animals from the wild on the pretext of display or observation. The bill, though, will allow the park to retain the ones it already has in its possession. However, they will be forbidden from breeding anymore in captivity as well. That's because captive-bred animals, more often than not, are never entirely equipped for a life in the wild, which almost forecloses the chance of later rehabilitation into the wild.


Given the release of the much-needed documentary Black Fish, protesters, however, are still lobbying for the release of the 55 remaining cetaceans into open-water sanctuaries.


The fact that a unanimously approved bill has been passed to care for the protection of the whales and dolphins is a big step in a world where most animal/environment-related movements are still at the individual level. And I use the adjective ‘unanimous’ very cautiously because the bill S-238 has indeed been approved by all political parties, which means that concern for the gentle giants and the environment transcends political affiliations, at least in Canada.


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 vast 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 terms of their intelligence.


Let’s hope that this bill works wonders, and along with the other bill, helps the cetaceans thrive again.


After all, these giants are crucial to our prolonged survival on this blue marble in space we call home.


Reference: Truth Theory, The Wild Child

Good News: Canada Bans The Captivity Of Whales And Dolphins Good News: Canada Bans The Captivity Of Whales And Dolphins Reviewed by Katerina Papakyriakopoulou on 2:35 PM Rating: 5

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