Vancouver Parks Board needs to protect dolphins

June 2006

ELC student Riley Goldstone urged the Vancouver Parks Board to strengthen their bylaws when his research uncovered links between two dolphins at the Vancouver Aquarium and the notorious dolphin drive fishery in Japan. As a result of Riley’s presentation, the Board is investigating whether they should bring a prosecution against the Vancouver Aquarium. They are currently seeking a legal opinion.

ELC student Riley Goldstone

“During my participation with the University of Victoria’s Environmental law Clinic I worked with the Vancouver-based Coalition for No Whales in Captivity to investigate the legal and ethical issues around the importation of dolphins into the Vancouver Aquarium. Although my research was initially local in nature, it soon took on international dimensions. I began to uncover the connections between municipal bylaws governing the keeping of dolphins in Stanley Park, the dolphin importation practices of the Vancouver Aquarium and the notorious Japanese dolphin drive fishery. With the assistance of my fellow student Christopher Mackie, who translated correspondence from people in Japan, it became apparent that the Vancouver Aquarium was indirectly facilitating the Japanese dolphin drive fishery. Without a doubt, the most exciting part of this project was presenting these findings in a report to the Vancouver Park Board. The goal of the presentation was to persuade the Park Board to strengthen their bylaws, to ensure that the practices of the Vancouver Aquarium do not contribute to dolphins being caught from the wild. The presentation was well received by the Vancouver Park Board and it also garnered the attention of numerous media reporters, including CTV and CBC. It is very rewarding to know that during my involvement with the Environmental Law Clinic I have had the opportunity to influence a local administrative body whose decisions could have an international impact. At the very least, I believe that my efforts have helped raised awareness of a serious issue that deserves public attention.” ELC student Riley Goldstone

ELC student Christopher Mackie assisted Goldstone