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Hey all, does anyone else from BC (or knowledge of..) have opinions on the Vancouver Aquarium? I love seeing the belugas, but always felt that maybe.. it was not quite right to be keeping them in a tank. Especially after I saw blackfish! The aquarium justifies the keeping of whales, dolphins, etc., based on their conservation efforts and fundraising. However, I recently read an article based on the documentary (link: http://www.vancouveraquariumuncovered.com) that contradicts those claims.

 

Thoughts? Should we (as divers and marine life enthusiasts) continue to support the Vancouver Aquarium? Thanks for your opinion!

Edited by thedeepblue

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Is this an underwater photography issue?

 

The film and the documentary both have a very strong and very narrow agenda. Just sayin'.

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I will have to watch the video to comment on it's content, but have heard LOTS of chatter about it. From what I have heard the 'documentary' is very biased and some information has been used out of context.

 

Perhaps someone with more knowledge of the specifics can comment?

 

Having been involved in a number of Citizen Science and Marine Conservation initiatives with the Vancouver Aquarium I have nothing but respect for the individual researchers and the organization for it's efforts in those specific areas.

 

Before tarring the whole organization with the same brush consider both the source of the video, and the other initiatives the Vancouver Aquarium is part of (science, conservation, education, marine mammal rescue / rehabilitation etc)

 

I will reserve judgement on the whales in captivity part until I have time to watch the video.

 

This issue, and discussing support of the organization should be relevant to the Underwater Photography Community as they have a number science initiatives that local underwater photographers can and do contribute towards. Off the top of my head these include; Rockfish Surveys, Annual Lingcod Egg Mass survey, Sea Star Wasting Syndrome, Glass Sponge Reefs etc.

 

Input from their researchers and support from the organization has helped with numerous conservation issues over the years which are directly relevant to Scuba Divers and Underwater Photographers. Some of these include creation of Rockfish Conservation Areas, reintroduction of Black Rockfish to Howe Sound and Bottom Fishing Closures for Straight of Georgia Glass Sponge Reefs. Aquarium staff are working with other non-profit groups that I am involved with on two other glass sponge reef initiatives;

 

1) Proposed expansion of Halkett Bay Provincial Park to include glass sponge gardens and glass sponge reef (bioherm) all of which are within recreational scuba depths.

 

2) Expansion of Bottom Fishing Closures to include ALL known glass sponge reefs in Howe Sound (5 of which occur shallow enough for air diving which is unique in the world).

 

Regards,

 

 

Adam

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One question to pose that I can not answer regarding the Vancouver Aquarium is whether they are exhibiting or doing shows with dolphins. I longer support and actively encourage people not to visit the Georgia Aquarium because they do dolphin shows (and pretty crappy ones at that). Initially the Georgia Aquarium was excellent venue but with the addition of dolphin shows they are not. IMHO aquariums should be about education and not entertainment.

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I think theres an important balance to be upheld with keeping animals in captivity. As wrong as it is (which i think it is in general) it also promotes awareness about certain species which could be potentially endangered. A good example is the Sumatran Tiger which after being introduced to an Australian zoo and put on show for the public there was a lot of extra contributions to preserving there numbers.

 

As for making animals such as dolphins perform repetitive circus acts as a way of bringing in crowds you could say is possibly promoting marine awareness but i think there are far better ways of doing so.

 

I am also for the education and not entertainment approach!

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