Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Whale Of A Week

Protect Endangered Orcas from Big Oil. 
Goal: Stop the construction of a pipeline off the coast of Vancouver that will decimate or even eradicate a population of endangered orca whales.
The orcas that reside in the waters alongside Vancouver, B.C. may be completely eliminated by an increase in oil tanker traffic. The fate of the last few remaining orcas in the Salish Sea are about to be decided as the federal government of Canada votes on the Trans Mountain Expansion project. This project will add almost 1,000 kilometers of pipeline that would claw from Alberta to Vancouver; wreaking environmental havoc each time a leak is sprung.
These whales have long suffered from the presence of their human neighbors. From being ripped away from their families to be sold to amusement parks, to absorbing dangerous chemicals leeched into the water by local industries, the orcas have had trouble fighting for their survival. There is now a shortage of the whale’s most common food, the Chinook salmon. This shortage has led to the whales facing severe starvation.
This problem is exacerbated by traffic from shipping liners, traffic that will dramatically increase if this pipeline expanded. This traffic drowns out communication between whales, and it causes the orcas undue stress. The whales will not move to another habitat because the one they currently reside in is critical to their survival. There is also the tangible threat of an oil spill contaminating the water; killing a variety of marine animals.
There are currently only around 80 whales left in this region. The Federal Canadian government is voting on this pipeline soon, so time is running out for these endangered animals. Sign this petition to stop this pipeline expansion, and protect the majetic orca whales. PETITION LETTER
Vancouver Aquarium: Get Out of the Beluga Captivity Business!
In Defense of Animals
Tragedy is "business as usual" for the Vancouver Aquarium in Vancouver, Canada, a facility whose business is based on exploiting whales and dolphins by keeping them in captivity. The tragedy was magnified yesterday, with the death of a 29-year-old female beluga whale named Aurora, and her 21-year-old daughter Qila last Wednesday. TAKE ACTION
Vancouver Aquarium’s Last Beluga Whale Dies
Aurora, the last beluga whale remaining at the Vancouver Aquarium in British Columbia, Canada has died. The 30 year-old wild-caught whale had been sick for the past two weeks with symptoms including loss of appetite, abdominal pain and lethargy. This was a double loss for the aquarium. Her calf, Qila, the first beluga whale conceived and born into captivity at a Canadian marine park, died on November 16 at 21 years of age after suffering from a similar set of symptoms.
The aquarium, which opened in June, 1956, is one of two marine mammal facilities in Canada. The other is Marineland, which on November 25 was charged with five counts of animal cruelty. The Vancouver Aquarium has also had its share of controversy, dating back to the mid-1960’s.
…there is no denying the Vancouver Aquarium has had a checkered history of marine mammal care, most notably in 1964, when it became the first facility in the world to host a captive orca. Moby Doll, a male killer whale found near Saturna Island, was originally fated to be killed by an Aquarium sculptor to serve as an exhibit, but after being harpooned, the still-conscious animal was instead towed back to Vancouver harbour and put on display in a dry dock. After three months, the injured whale — who had initially refused to eat — died of exhaustion from trying to stay afloat in the low-salinity harbour water.” ~ Source: The National Post, July 18, 2014
In February, 2015, Nanuq, a beluga owned by the aquarium died while on a long-term breeding loan to SeaWorld Orlando. As reported by The Globe and Mail, in one study, semen was collected from Nanuq 42 times and subsequently used for 10 insemination attempts with seven females, who were administered hormones to stimulate ovulation. This resulted in two pregnancies, one of which was twin calves.
Simply put, there is no captive environment large enough, enriching enough or diverse enough to compare to the native habitat of dolphins and other whales.” ~ Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project
While the aquarium phased out its captive orcas in 2001, there are still over 50,000 animals housed at the facility.* With the deaths of Aurora and Qila, Dolphin Project is calling on the Vancouver Aquarium to put an end to the captive display of all their marine mammals.
Take The Pledge to Not Visit a Dolphin Show!