Two more beluga whales die at Marineland


Enough is enough, Marineland must be shut down! After two more beluga whales died in captivity, the Province of Ontario must step in to close this facility once and for all.

We are calling on the Government of Ontario to shut down Marineland after the revelation that two more beluga whales have died at the facility.  

“Sixteen beluga whales and one orca have died at Marineland since 2019. That is horrifying and the Government of Ontario must step in to act. Marineland has lost the trust of the public and has no business caring for animals.”  - Melissa Matlow, Campaign Director 

This discovery is just the latest in a string of animal welfare concerns. Most recently, Marineland was found guilty under Ontario’s animal welfare legislation for failing to comply with an order related to the care of three young black bears. Marineland was ordered to make changes and neglected to do so, resulting in the bears being seized and relocated to sanctuaries. 

In addition to the whale deaths, one dolphin, two seals and two sea lions have also died under suspicious circumstances at Marineland since 2019. 

We have long raised concerns over the activities at this under-regulated facility, and the lack of regulations in Ontario. Our investigations previously found Marineland seemingly continuing to engage in programming that exploits the animals it continues to own, including dolphins, which is illegal under Canada’s Criminal Code. 

Marineland was previously charged for using captive dolphins in performances for entertainment purposes. Those charges were stayed, due largely to backlogs in Ontario’s criminal justice system. 

Animal welfare and wildlife captivity in Canada falls under both federal and provincial jurisdiction. 

Marineland, like so many other under-regulated facilities in Ontario, continues to dodge accountability because of Ontario’s weak animal welfare enforcement, which has bred a culture of non-compliance with what little regulations exist in the province. 

“Enough is enough - Marineland is the prime example of Ontario’s broken system of regulations of animal attractions. This is a law-and-order issue, and the provincial government needs to address this issue immediately for the safety and security of the animals that remain at the facility.” - Melissa Matlow, Campaign Director 

We have been asking the Ontario government to pass stronger regulations and improve enforcement for decades. Join us in advocating for the well-being of captive wild animals in Ontario.  

Speak out for captive wildlife at Marineland and other cruel venues  

Help us fight against the degrading conditions they endure due to a lack of provincial regulations. Send an e-letter to Ontario's Solicitor General and demand immediate action to protect these animals from suffering.  

Act now

Banner photo: Sasha Rink / World Animal Protection

Further reading:

Captive beluga whales at Marineland
Photo: Sasha Rink / World Animal Protection