Thanks to the inking of a new license agreement between the Vancouver Aquarium (officially the Ocean Wise Conservation Association) and the Vancouver Park Board late last month, the site is allowed to stay in Stanley Park for the next 35 years.
“The new licence agreement marks the start of an exciting new chapter in Ocean Wise’s evolution and provides the foundation for our ambitious five-year strategic plan,” said Lasse Gustavsson, Ocean Wise president and CEO.
Since 1956, more than 45 million people have visited the world-class attraction that showcases thousands of different species and aquatic life and raises awareness for nature preservation. Part of the new agreement is the prohibition of having any cetaceans such a whales, dolphins and porpoises on display.
As mentioned above, Ocean Wise is also set to launch a new half-decade vision this coming January with a renewed focus on improving public education, governance and the overall visitor experience. Investment in research programs will continue in order to spread knowledge about marine wildlife.
“Ocean Wise aspires to become a global ocean conservation organization and wants to inspire people in every corner of the planet to participate in creating healthy oceans, but for most people the ocean is ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ ” said Gustavsson.
“There are many threats to the ocean, but the greatest threat is that many believe someone else is going to save it. Ocean Wise has an important role to bring the ocean to the people and the people to the ocean, and the Vancouver Aquarium is one of the best tools we have to do that.”
Fun fact: Originally formed as the Vancouver Public Aquarium Association in 1951, it was the first public aquarium to open in Canada. Today, there are approximately 48 aquariums in operation across North America, and more than 200 internationally.