Whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans) are routinely caught from the wild for public display facilities around the world. As of 2020 Canada does not allow the keeping of cetaceans in captivity, their capture in Canadian waters or their importation for aquarium and marine park displays.
Marineland of Canada in Niagara Falls, Ontario is currently the only Canadian facility keeping cetaceans for public display. The animals at Marineland were present when Canada’s anti-cetacean captivity law was passed, so they were grandfathered in the legislation. The law prohibits the breeding and use of the cetaceans in entertainment-based performances and they cannot be replaced if they are exported (subject to approval by the federal government) or if they die.
Zoocheck is continuing to advocate on behalf of those cetaceans remaining in Canada and is promoting the establishment of ocean pen sanctuaries as a humane alternative to aquarium and marine park tanks for non-releasable individuals.