Wild animals in captivity are deprived of their freedom and natural environment.


Fish are more than objects to admire in an aquarium; they are sentient animals that are intelligent, can feel pain, and have complex emotional and sensory lives. Learn more about the new facts about fish.

Marine mammals

VHS is opposed to the captivity of cetaceans (whales and dolphins), as they are highly intelligent and social animals who have evolved to a very specific set of environmental circumstances that simply cannot be replicated in captivity. 

We shouldn’t expect animals to thrive in a completely unnatural environment and the frequency of premature deaths of cetaceans held in aquariums supports this view.

Locally, VHS called on the Vancouver Aquarium to phase-out its captive cetacean program for many years. In December of 2016, VHS and Zoocheck Canada published a press release and report challenging the aquarium’s claim that keeping cetaceans provided research that justified their captivity.

In 2019, Canada banned cetacean captivity but many other species continue to be held at the Vancouver Aquarium and other aquariums around the world.

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