Gia, a beluga whale at Marineland has died


When animals die in aquariums like Marineland it sparks a public outcry, but their life in captivity is the biggest animal welfare concern

There is no conservation benefit for the whales – only a lifetime of suffering.

A beluga whale just died at Marineland, only days after animal cruelty charges against the facility were dropped. While it is understandable that the untimely death of zoo and aquarium animals often sparks public concern and short-term media attention, it is their dreadful life of boredom and stress from living in captivity for years on end that is our biggest animal welfare concern.

Whales are far-roaming, deep diving socially complex, intelligent mammals and suffer greatly due to the constraints imposed on their natural movements and behaviour. Their physical and psychological welfare needs are simply too difficult to satisfy in captivity no matter how big and complex their enclosure is. For more information, please see our report produced with The Humane Society of the United States, The Case Against Keeping Marine Mammals in Captivity.

How you can help

Please don’t visit aquariums that keep whales in small, shallow, barren tanks and force them to perform tricks, all in the name of 'entertainment'. There is no conservation benefit for the whales – only a lifetime of suffering.

Contact the Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, the Hon. Marie-France Lalonde, and ask her to pass stronger regulations, and increase enforcement of animal cruelty laws.

We encourage the Ontario government to follow the lead of other jurisdictions around the world that have banned the keeping of cetaceans in captivity and other forms of wildlife entertainment.