AZA News Releases

AZA Statement on ‘Troubling’ Vancouver Park Board Vote

Silver Spring, MD – Last evening, the Vancouver Park Board took a troubling action in  directing staff to develop options to amend local law to prohibit the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre from importing or displaying whales, dolphins and porpoises. The Science Center is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and in response, the Honorable Dan Ashe, AZA President and CEO, issued the following statement:

“The vote by the Vancouver Park Board is troubling on at least two levels.  First, if the board ultimately prohibits whales, dolphins and porpoises at Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre it will hinder very significant scientific research supporting conservation of these species and other marine mammals in nature. And secondly, it will deprive millions of visitors the opportunity to experience marine mammals up close, most of whom otherwise will never see those animals in their life. AZA will be working closely with Vancouver Aquarium to help influence this crucial policy decision.”

The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre was the first aquarium accredited by AZA in 1976, and has been accredited eight times, most recently in September, 2013. AZA accreditation signifies the highest standards of animal care and welfare.

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eight other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit

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