Officials from Vancouver Aquarium have announced that the facility will temporarily close whilst it revisits its business model to make it more financially viable and to align with its mission of ocean conservation. Over 200 staff will lose their jobs.
The news comes as the aquarium faces huge financial issues, and COVID-19 restrictions continue. Since the start of the pandemic the aquarium has experienced a nearly 80-per-cent decline in ticket sales.
While the public-facing aspects of the aquarium will be closed, a team of 75 specialized staff — including biologists, animal care experts, and an on-site veterinary team — will continue to operate.
After years of opposition from anti-captivity campaigners, the Vancouver Aquarium announced in 2018 that it would phase out its whale and dolphin captivity programme.