News agencies have been posting about a new “documentary” that was uploaded online titled “Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered.”
After viewing the documentary, we want to set the record straight, share the truth about the Vancouver Aquarium and expose this film for what it is – another piece of radical propaganda.
But before we talk about this PETA-funded film, we want to give you a look into what the Vancouver Aquarium has accomplished.
2014 Vancouver Aquarium Statistics:
- 54,163 Canadians participated in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
- 40,223 teaching hours provided by staff and volunteers
- 103,000 donated volunteer hours to help protect aquatic life
- 32,000 hours of rehabilitation and care provided to sick and abandoned marine mammals
- 139,262 kilograms of litter removed as part of their Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
- 1,180 educational programs were delivered
- 164 marine mammals were rescued
- 44,731 community members engaged through their AquaGuide, AquaVan and AquaZone programs
- 1,000,000 visitors contributed to aquatic conservation through visiting the Vancouver Aquarium
When you look at those numbers it is clear that the Vancouver Aquarium is not only educating over 1,000,000 people annually, they are also leaders in helping people choose sustainable seafood, rescue stranded marine animals and clean up waterways across Canada.
Now that you have been grounded in the reality of what the Vancouver Aquarium does, we will look at the main allegations of this film and show that – just like BlackFish – it is misleading and deceptive, with the same cast of characters.
1. This is a PETA Funded Film.
Not until the credits roll at the end of the film do they inform you that this project was bankrolled by PETA, the very same organization that has killed over 33,000 adoptable cats and dogs and kidnapped a dog from a 6-year-old girl and killed it.
2. Falsely claims that no money is donated to animal rescues
The film claims that no money is donated to the rescue and rehabilitation of marine animals. This claim is incredibly ludicrous. In 2014, Vancouver Aquarium rescued 164 marine animals. They even run a special off-site quarantine rescue facility.
Awesome Ocean visited these incredible facilities and can attest to the substantial investment the Vancouver Aquarium has made in marine rescue operations. In 2014 the Vancouver Aquarium spent over $600,000 on animal rescues. The allegation made in the film is absolutely false.
3. The film falsely claims that the Vancouver Aquarium is all about profit.
The Vancouver Aquarium is a non-profit organization that shares its annual report every year with the public, including the programs it has supported that year. In 2014, the most recent year available, the Vancouver Aquarium has been involved in rescues, research, education, clean-ups, and providing world-class love and care for the animals that call the aquarium home.
It is insulting to the thousands of people each year who volunteer with Vancouver Aquarium events and clean-ups to say they are all in it for the money.
4. The film falsely claims that studying cetaceans at the Vancouver Aquarium has never helped a wild whale or dolphin.
This statement is ludicrous.
Because of Jack and Daisy, two adorable harbor porpoises that were neonatal rescues by the Vancouver Aquarium, they have learned a great deal about harbor porpoises and how to improve rescues.
This knowledge was invaluable in 2013 when a young harbor porpoise, who would be named Levi, was found stranded and in need of rescue by the Vancouver Aquarium. Because of their experience with Jack and Daisy, the expert team was able to rehabilitate Levi and get him back into the ocean. Levi even provided the Aquarium with valuable data included in a research paper on porpoises.
Crossman, C., Barrett-Lennard, L., & Taylor, E. (2014). Population structure and intergeneric hybridization in harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena in British Columbia, Canada. Endangered Species Research, 26, 1-12. doi:10.3354/esr00624
Again, this is just another blatantly false claim that diminishes the lifesaving work that has been done by the Aquarium.
5. The film falsely claims that Helen was not a rescued animal.
Another insane and ludicrous claim is that Helen, a Pacific White Sided Dolphin, was not a rescued animal, but instead came from a drive fishery in Taiji, Japan.
This claim in the film is backed by “expert” Naomi Rose who states that she is “99% certain” that Helen was not a rescued dolphin and came from a drive fishery.
The inaccuracy of this claim demonstrates the incompetence of this self-declared expert. In 1996 Helen became stranded off the coast of Japan. Her injuries from being entangled in a fishing net were so severe that her pectoral fins had to be partially amputated.
Yes, this amazing rescued dolphin, had to have her pectoral fins partially amputated – which obviously and understandably led the government to deem her non-releasable.
Had Naomi Rose, or this documentary, been interested in presenting even the facade of a balanced story, they would have shared that fact. Instead, Naomi Rose and the film present Helen as an animal that could easily survive in the ocean on her own, when that is simply not true.
In fact the Vancouver Aquarium stated that In an email they received from the producer of the movie, Gary Charbonneau, he wrote while “researching” for his video: “Through my research, I’ve come to realize (Hana & Helen) were caught in nets and did not come from the drive.” He admitted to the Vancouver Aquarium that he knew the truth before even making the video, and then he and Naomi Rose lied to support their agenda.
ZERO Stars for this film
The reality is that this film is intentionally deceptive and misleading.
It strives to smear the name of an organization that is involved in doing incredible good – rescuing, rehabilitating and returning to the ocean wild animals, performing species-saving research, and striving to make our world a better place.
We want to make a plea to you directly to help spread the word about the great work the Vancouver Aquarium is doing. Our oceans are in trouble and the Aquarium is part of the solution.
Please Tweet and share this article with your family and friends and stand up for organizations that are helping to save our awesome oceans.