Save the OceanWise Conservation Association!

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The OceanWise Conservation Association (OWCA), the parent organization of the Vancouver Aquarium, is facing bankruptcy before the beginning of summer due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. OWCA is a non-profit organization which is reliant on the revenue from visitors to the Vancouver Aquarium. 

Although it is important to note that the Vancouver Aquarium has had a controversial history, particularly with reference to the housing of orcas, beluga whales, dolphins and other cetaceans, great strides have been made over the past decade to ensure the safeguarding of animal rights and standards of care. The Vancouver Aquarium is now home to over 70,000 animals, each requiring specialised care and many unable to be released back into the wild. The future of these animals is in jeopardy, as although operators have reportedly begun looking for places to rehome the animals it is exceedingly unlikely sufficient homes will be found for all animals. 

Not only is the future of the animals in jeopardy, closure of OWCA would impact the Marine Mammal Rescue Program, the OceanWise Sustainable Seafood program and the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup program. These programs are crucial to the continued health of British Columbia's coast and oceans and provide opportunities for conservationists and students alike to engage in meaningful work to safeguard our oceans. 

We are asking the provincial and/or federal government to please consider investing in the continued development of this organization until visitation can begin again.