Vancouver-based filmmaker Gary Charbonneau has just released Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered, a new documentary that reveals cruelty and corruption at Canada's most famous marine park.
The documentary features interviews with leading experts, examines the suffering endured by whales and dolphins in captivity, and exposes misleading claims made by Vancouver Aquarium officials.
The many problems documented in Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered include:
- out of ten orca, beluga, and dolphin births, only one animal--a beluga--survived infancy. This 90 percent infant mortality rate is at least four times that found in nature.
- public claims not to have a breeding program are contradicted by the aquarium's quietly moving their belugas around for breeding purposes.
- the Vancouver Aquarium assisted the Georgia Aquarium to import belugas hunted in Russia, despite publicly denouncing wild capture.
- despite claiming to be dedicated to conservation, research and education, the budget percentage allocated to these items dropped from 22.6 percent in 2004 to 12 percent in 2013.
- there is no evidence that any so-called research at the Vancouver Aquarium has aided a single wild cetacean.
- the president of the accrediting association, CAZA, is also the vice president of the Vancouver Aquarium. The aquarium is effectively accrediting itself.
- contrary to claims made by aquarium officials, not a single cetacean death at the aquarium could be considered to be from a "natural cause."
"Even I was surprised by the layers of corruption and cruelty at the Vancouver Aquarium," says filmmaker Gary Charbonneau. "The public would be shocked to know what the aquarium is covering up under the veneer of 'conservation' and 'education.' In reality, the Vancouver Aquarium is nothing but a big business disguised as a non-profit, raking in cash on the backs of misfortunate captive animals."
PETA president Ingrid Newkirk has called Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered a "stunning exposé."
A bill is currently before the Canadian Senate that would ban keeping whales and dolphins in captivity. So far, 12 countries have already implemented such a ban. The only remaining facilities in Canada that keep captive, performing whales and dolphins are Marineland and the Vancouver Aquarium.
Watch the film for free here.