Marineland Canada says site for planned whale refuge in Nova Scotia is too polluted


Published December 14, 2021 at 2:58 pm

HALIFAX — A plan in Nova Scotia to build North America’s first coastal refuge for captive whales has come under fire from Marineland Canada.

The marine park in Niagara Falls, Ont., has released a study that alleges the proposed site for the Whale Sanctuary Project is too polluted and too expensive for the non-profit group behind the plan.

The executive director of the project, however, dismissed the allegations today, saying Marineland’s information is incomplete and out of date.

Charles Vinick says his group is conducting its own scientific studies, which include analysis of the sediment in the bay near Port Hilford, N.S., where the refuge will be built next year.

On Monday, Marineland confirmed it had received a request from the Whale Sanctuary Project for the park’s lone killer whale, Kiska, and up to eight beluga whales to live at the refuge.

Marineland’s preliminary analysis of the project says gold mines that operated in the area until 1939 left behind two nearby tailings dumps that have contaminated the site with arsenic and mercury.

The marine park, which is the only venue in Canada that has captive whales, was recently charged with allegedly using dolphins and whales for entertainment purposes, which is a crime under 2019 federal anti-captivity legislation.

Marineland has denied the allegations, saying its dolphins and whales are part of an educational presentation designed by experts. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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