Vancouver Aquarium Faces Permanent Closure — Seeks $9.5 Million Bailout

by | April 16, 2020

Vancouver Aquarium is at risk of permanent closure in the face of a global pandemic and is seeking over $9.5 million in federal funds to stay afloat.

Lasse Gustavsson, CEO of Ocean Wise, the group which runs the atrraction shared details on local radio show Mornings With Simi.

Having closed on March 17 to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, the aquarium has since had to lay off over 300 employees.

The business is now spending over a million dollars a month just to stay afloat — and Gustavsson says that, without government aid, it is likely to go bankrupt.

Ocean Wise has sought aid from the provincial and federal government, as well as the city of Vancouver.

dolphin in aquarium

The Future Of The Animals At Vancouver Aquarium

Around 200 employees remain working on either a part or full-time basis to care for the animals that are held there.

“Unlike many other organizations, we can’t switch off the lights, lock the door, and go home,” Gustavsson said. 

“We have 70,000 animals in the aquarium. We love them, we care for them, and we’re not going to leave them alone.”

In the event of bankruptcy — which Gustavsson says is unlikely to be avoided without government aid — the animals would need to be accounted for.

seal at aquarium

Animals In Captivity — A Story Of “Love?”

The Vancouver Aquarium has come under fire for its treatment of animals, in a narrative that tells a different story then Gustavsson’s expression of “love.”

It was the subject of an hour-long documentary called Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered, in which conservationists, biologists and even a former seal trainer spoke out against its practices.

You can watch the entire documentary here.

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