Michael Harcourt

July 28, 2014
Mr. Mayor and Councillors City of Vancouver;
Mr. Chair and Commissioners, Vancouver, Board of Parks and Recreation;
Mr. Malcolm Bromley, General Manager, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
To all concerned,
I’m writing to support our marvelous Vancouver Aquarium, in the face of a potential ill-conceived proposal
to alter municipal policy in a way that will harm the Aquarium. The potential policy change is to phase out,
within three years, the Aquarium housing any already captured or wounded cetaceans i.e. whales and
dolphins.
Even “punting” this proposal to the next newly elected officials, after the November 15 election, will only
create unnecessary uncertainty for the Aquarium’s invaluable activities.
So just say no to this misguided campaign.
Eighteen years ago the Vancouver Aquarium was the world’s first institution to pledge never to capture
cetaceans from the wild. Only whales and dolphins that can’t survive in the wild are living at the Aquarium.
Plus they are far better off than at any other facilities.
Don’t waste our Aquarium staff and supporters’ efforts. Let them focus on the Aquarium’s:
 Marine Mammal Rescue Center;
 being the City’s major tourism destination, largest cultural institution, and a globally recognized
research and conservation centre;
 fiscal success-operating in the black, not needing government subsidies, unlike its other Canadian
counterparts.
Lastly, let the Vancouver Aquarium focus its people, resources and expertise, on its latest initiative-the
Coastal Ocean Research Institute. This institute will make BC’s coastal ecosystems a major priority.
It’s far better that the Vancouver Aquarium build on its huge success, and exciting ideas for the future, than
be diverted, delayed, held up by this ill-conceived proposal.
A green City like Vancouver does not turn its back on nature. The conservation focussed research and direct
activities that are at the core of the Vancouver Aquarium are vital to the future of the oceans, life there, and
indeed – to all of us.
Yours truly,

Michael Harcourt