Below is an updated list of our current action alerts – all meant to answer the question “what can I do to help the captive animals at Marineland?” We will be continuing to update this specific page as we go, so please do keep checking back!
– Call/Write/Fax to Conservative MP and Minister of Oceans and Fisheries Gail Shea and your local MP to close the wild capture loophole. We have been asking advocates to make this their legislative priority for a long time now and we are aware that Gail Shea’s office, when contacted and when they respond, is likely to try to pass the buck off to the Minister of the Environment Leona Aglukkaq suggesting advocates instead push for U.S. style reform through the CITIES that would allow for public comment. We do not want a U.S. style system where permits and open comment sometimes leads to rejections, and other times leads to legal capture. We are still focused on pushing for the kind of changes that NDP MP Libby Davies proposed in her 2001 Private Members Motion calling on the then Minister of Oceans and Fisheries to close the wild capture loophole. If ever successful, this will effectively end the import of any new wild caught marine mammals in Canada. Of the two remaining captive marine mammal facilities in Canada, the Vancouver Aquarium already has an in-house policy against wild capture unless the animal in question cannot be released, and Marineland Canada has not imported any new animals since 2008. It is perfectly possible for this to become a reality if we can unite and organize enough pressure around this call to action.
Form Letter Below:
“Dear Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea,
I am writing to you today extremely concerned about the conditions at the captive animal facilities in Canada – Marineland Canada and the Vancouver Aquarium. There is currently a legislative void for captive marine mammals in Canada I hope your office will address this.
Although it is illegal to wild capture a marine mammal for display in Canada, it is still legal to import and export animals wild caught in other countries (namely Russia and Japan). This does not protect marine mammals at all and allows for Canada to be a hub for facilities in other countries to skirt restrictions. In 2001 NDP MP Libby Davies introduced a private members motion urging for a closure of the wild capture loophole recognizing these issues as a problem for your office to address. That same concern and outrage about this issue has only heightened since then. Only by restructuring the laws will we see change that should have come decades ago. I sincerely hope that you will consider reintroducing this motion as soon as possible.
I am aware that your office has been suggesting advocates write to the Minister of Environment, Leona Aglukkaq, asking for a U.S. style open comment process through CITIES. I want to be perfectly clear that advocates do not want an open comment process wherein industry could still influence the process and continue to import wild caught animals. We want to see a complete end to the import of wild caught animals in Canada and an end to marine mammal captivity.
Please keep me updated about this issue.
Gail Shea – Email: [email protected] Telephone: 613-992-9223 Fax: 613-992-1974
You can find your MP by using this Directory HERE.
– Amplify the voices of those calling for an end to animal captivity and join the chorus yourself! Activists on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram are changing the script and have the captive animal industry on the ropes trying to come up with new ways to spin their old selling points. Get involved, lend a hand, and support campaigns that are dedicated to shutting this industry down. You can find our social pages here – FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM / TUMBLR. Make sure to use the #endcaptivity and #marineland hashtags!
– Become a City Captain! For every large demonstration, we rely on organizers across Ontario and Western New York to help us promote the demonstration at the street level and also to arrange ride shares and car pools. Are you up for wheat pasting the town? Awesome at getting your friends and family organized and out to demonstrations? Then you should contact us and set up to become a City Captain. Email us at [email protected]
– Build up your Community! Take the City Captain title to the next level and build up your anti-captivity community. Film screenings, potlucks, bake sales, hosting speaking events etc. If you have a captive animal facility in your town start building a campaign against them! It can feel overwhelming, but everything starts from the beginning! We will help you.
– Protect Public Advocacy! Contact the Attorney General of Ontario Madeleine Meilleur and your local MPP asking for the Provincial Liberal Party to re introduce Bill 83 – the Protection of Public Participation Act – to protect the voices of those who speak out against Marineland. In the past two years Marineland has sued 2 activists, ex employees, and the Toronto Star – all trying to effectively silence and scare off any opposition to animal captivity. Bill 83 has been on the backburner with successive minority Governments in Ontario – but the Liberals now have a majority and the ability to pass this legislation and protect the public from Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP suits).
Form Letter Below:
“Dear Attorney General of Ontario Madeleine Meilleur,
I am writing you today in hopes that you will use your office to re introduce Bill 83 – the Protection of Public Participation Act.
Last presented by your predecessor, John Gerretsen, has been the victim of successive minority Governments and industry lobbying. Now with a successful majority Government it is time for this Bill to finally be passed in Ontario so that members of the public can speak out against industry and share public concern without the threat of massive and overwhelming litigation.
Please, use your position to re introduce this Bill and follow it through to its passage.
Madeleine Meilleur – Email: [email protected] Telephone: 416-326-2220 Fax: 416-326-4016
– Stay up to date with our demonstration schedule! Consistently making it out to demonstrations ensures that Marineland knows we are not going anywhere. We know it is hard for people to constantly give up time on their weekends during the summer – but every demonstration counts and advocates should try and do their best to support every demonstration in any way they can.
– Get active for captive and wild animals (and stop eating them!) It is important for our campaign that people also think of ways they can campaign against other captive animal facilities and touring circuses. It is also important though that advocates realize the plight of captive farmed animals and wildlife. These are industries that are extremely environmentally destructive and what we eat, what we wear, and what we participate in should reflect an ethic that recognizes the inherent dignity of ALL animal species and other human beings. Our campaign has also always built coalitions across the broad spectrum of social justice – whether that be trade unions, migrant justice advocacy groups, Indigenous Solidarity, anti-pipeline and extraction communities – and we hope to inspire anti-captivity advocates to do the same. We need to think of a world where justice is not in short supply, and where our circle of concern is broad as it possibly can be!
– USE THE SKILLS YOU ALREADY HAVE! So often people ask us what they can do to help without first thinking about what skills they already have that they are not using. Are you good at graphic design? Make some demonstration promo images. Are you good with a camera? Make a demonstration video, a promotional video, or a PSA. Are you a great writer? Use your skill to write blogs, write a letter to your local newspaper, or leverage social sites like the Dodo or Huffington Post to build your own platform. Great artist? Make us the largest, biggest, baddest banners! Public speaking more your thing? Make presentations to your school, university, or in your community. EVERYONE has skills that they can offer that will help captive animals and the more people we can get using those skills the better!
– Share our “90 Seconds for Kiska” PSA. Many of our PSA’s have been the subject of legal complaints, however, our “90 Seconds for Kiska” PSA is still a great quick introduction to this issue that we encourage advocates to share. People who go to captive animal facilities usually don’t realize that these are the constant homes for these animals. Kiska has a tank, that is it. This video, and the fact that she can lap her tank in 90 seconds, is a stark reminder of why we fight.
– Participate in our yearly “Global Awareness Week.” Each March we hold a “Global Awareness Week” where we ask advocates to send us in selfies of them holding end captivity signs calling for Marineland to be shut down. We’ve had photos pour in from Australia, Finland, Germany, Mexico, Ireland, Korea, Costa Rica and more. Stay tuned for our call out for 2015 and remember this annual event.
– NEVER GIVE UP. The most important thing we can impart to advocates is to never, ever give up. Even in our short years we’ve seen so many people come and go. People burn out, lose hope, or lose interest. The best activists are the ones who are not afraid to make mistakes (and learn from them) and who stick around. There is no real blue print for this stuff – but the more sustainable our communities are the stronger they will be!
THINGS WHICH WE DON’T ADVISE
There are certain things that over the years people repeatedly do, hoping to help, that unfortunately hurt more than they help. Keep these in mind.
– Focus on the people who can be reached, not those who cannot. Many times in the community, or at demonstrations, people dedicate too much time to those who wish to argue, debate, or scream about why captivity is ok. For every second you waste on these people you take away from the time you could be using to talk to people who might actually be open to what you are saying. If people are rude, ignorant, abusive, the quicker you move on the better – whether in real life or online.
– The internet creates an atmosphere where sometimes passionate activists forget is accessible to industry and law enforcement. We’ve lost count how many online comments meant as jokes, or idle threats, have shown up in court exhibits and used against us. Remember, anything that you post on the internet is accessible and can and will be used against us. There is no need for violent jokes, threatening or harassing behaviours.
– Stop giving Marineland YOUR MONEY! Marineland has a long history. For almost as long as they have held captive animals they have faced protests and ex employees blowing the whistle about conditions inside the facility. There are hundreds of hours of footage, countless new stories, thousands of photographs that already exist on the public record. Also, there is a constant stream of images and video that hit social every day alongside review sites that tell us about the experience the public has at the park. There is no reason for advocates to pay money to Marineland thinking that they will see something that has not already been seen, or that would not be found out through other means. We recognize that everyone wants to help and that their intentions are good, but the best thing you can do is learn that history, compile as much of that information as possible, and keep an eye on that steady stream of information that comes out of the park. Amateur investigations will not lead to cruelty convictions, or to positive changes for captive animals on site, and only trained professionals should be even thinking about paying the money to enter the facility. For those who are part of the Marineland Animal Defense campaign, Marineland Canada considers your presence at the facility to be trespass – even if you have paid your admission. Outside of the legal ramifications, if you are a visible public face at demonstrations and events, we’d suggest that the facility would NOT be a safe place for you.