Marineland is facing charges for displaying sea animals for entertainment purposes without a permit.
In October of 2021, Niagara Police) detectives commenced an investigation into allegations of the use of captive cetacean at Marineland.
During the investigation, it was found that dolphins and whales were utilized for entertainment purposes during the month of August, without being authorized to do so following an amendment to the Criminal Code under Bill S-203 on June 21, 2019.
On Monday December 13, 2021, detectives charged Marineland with use captive cetacean for performance for entertainment purposes without authorization pursuant to a licence contrary to 445.2(4) of the Criminal Code.
Marineland will appear in court on February 14, 2022 to answer to the charges.
The law, which was passed in 2019 requires a permit from the province in order to display dolphins or whales for entertainment purposes. The law calls for a fine of up to $200,000. It makes exceptions for animals already in captivity at the time of the passage of the bill.
Following the charges, Marineland issued a statement reading in part:
Founded by the late John Holer in 1961 with a tank with one seal, Marineland has been in trouble with animal rights activists for decades. It has been picketed and sued and was the subject of news reports alleging mistreatment of the sea animals.
Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati has been quoted as saying he would like to see Marineland morph into an amusement park without captive animals.