A sanctuary for whales and dolphins rescued from captivity will open in 2023. In fact, at present, most of the society does not look favorably on the confinement of whales and dolphins.
Canada bans exploiting marine animals in public shows. The law passed in 2019 does not allow capturing, keeping in captivity or breeding cetaceans. The capture of these species is for inclusion in shows or for exhibition. The problem is that animals rescued from captivity cannot be reinserted in their natural habitat. They have lived too long in these unnatural conditions.
The Whale Sanctuary Project will be a sanctuary for whales and dolphins
The sanctuary will be the first of its kind and will be in Port Hilford, Nova Scotia, Canada. It will be 40 hectares in size, which is equivalent to 50 soccer fields. These dimensions represent 300 times the size of a swimming pool that houses a whale in captivity.
Finally, it will be a marine protected area. This represents a great challenge, as its maintenance will be much more complex than that of other protected areas. The intention is to safeguard and protect the integrity and good health of the animals. In addition, the goal is that human caretakers will not be so essential for the animals.
Characteristics of the sanctuary
The sanctuary will be able to house 8 whales, with enough space for them to have a normal life. The sanctuary will have unique features. For two years they searched for the most suitable place along both coasts of North America to locate it.
Scientists conducted numerous oceanographic and hydrologic analyses. In choosing the site they considered:
- Seabed characteristics
- Tides and currents
- Flora and fauna of the area
In addition, they took into account the environmental pollution and the marine and land traffic in the area as well as the acceptance of the news among the inhabitants of the area.
The sanctuary will definitely be beneficial for the animals. Because it is located in the sea, it has several advantages. For example the water quality and acoustics. The larger animals will be able to swim in a straight line, which they cannot do in the captive tanks.
Its extension and depth is ideal for cetaceans to be as if they were in their natural environment. These animals, in their habitat usually submerge up to 300 meters. In a captive tank they can dive to a maximum of 30 meters.
It is contained by specially designed nets. Its boundaries are Rocky Point on the right, Barachois Island on the left and Port Hilford Pier. It is precisely there that the sanctuary-related buildings will be located.
The dream is that in the near future there will be many sanctuaries around the world
The 484,000 square meters of the reserve represent the kick-off for founding many other sanctuaries around the world. There is a lot of work to be done, as there are more than 3,000 animals in captivity in facilities intended for public entertainment. In addition, they hope that in the near future these sanctuaries will also be a rehabilitation center for stranded animals.
The Whale Sanctuary Project is possible thanks to the help of people who are interested in protecting these animals. It is not possible to go back in time to give them back the life they had before captivity, but they hope to improve their quality of life.