The Vancouver Public Aquarium is debating whether to continue keeping belugas in captivity. They offer two main advantages to doing this:
- They increase ticket sales.
- The allow scientists easy access to them for study.
To them, the belugas are just great slabs of meat. Their welfare does not matter, even though they have brains larger than humans. I oppose holding belugas in captivity on the grounds it is inhumane.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- In the wild, belugas swim over 80 km (49.71 miles) a day. Keeping them in such confined tanks is like binding a boy in a plaster cast.
- Belugas have a phobia of dashing on the rocks. The tank keeps them from moving, close to echo-reflecting cement sides that sonically look like rocks.
- The ancient Hawaiians used to hunt dolphins (a relative of the beluga) by taking two rocks and smashing them together under water. The loud sound would rupture the dolphins’ ear drums. They would leap from the water with blood streaming from their ears. The aquarium encourages mothers to bring their young children to view the belugas. The children naturally pound on the glass. The staff make no attempt to stop them. There nowhere in the tank free of the racket.