Whale Sanctuary Project Selects Port Hilford, Nova Scotia For North America’s First Sanctuary For Captive Whales


Port-Hilford offers a large area that can be captured for whales in a bay open to the ocean but sheltered from storms. It has access to the necessary infrastructure and plenty of space along the shore for animal care facilities, as well as an on-site education and interpretation center.

“It’s a great place for whales from marine parks and aquariums,” Vinick said. “You couldn’t ask for a more welcoming and enthusiastic community than the people of the Sherbrooke Region.”

Intelligent and socially complex animals
The project to set up a sanctuary in New Scotland comes in the wake of Parliament’s passage of Bill S-203 in 2019 to end whale and dolphin captivity in Canada.

“Whales and dolphins are very intelligent, emotionally sensitive and socially complex animals,” said Dr. Lori Marino, president of the Whale Sanctuary Project. “Within the confines of a concrete tank in a marine park, they suffer from chronic stress, followed by often fatal illnesses. Moving them in an ocean environment will give them a healthier life where they can thrive.”

Marino added that the whales captured the imaginations of the inhabitants of Sherbrooke from the first meeting.

“They organized special activities for the children,” she said. “It’s like they’ve already made whales part of their community. And the city already feels like a sanctuary.”

Support from the local community
Dr. Stephen flemming, General Manager of the Sherbrooke Village Museum, is delighted to have a whale sanctuary nearby.

“The museum, through the Rural Institute for Cultural Heritage and Environmental Sustainability, has been delighted to assist with the work of the Whale Sanctuary project to date and looks forward to continuing its efforts to help conduct this project in the long term ”, he declared. “I couldn’t be happier that this group of eminent cetacean experts chose New Scotland for their first sanctuary. ”

Minister Lloyd hines, member of the Legislative Assembly for New Scotland, added that the Sherbrooke the community is eager to welcome North America first whale sanctuary by the sea.

“We are truly honored to be part of this very special project,” he said.

Next steps
The next steps in working towards the creation of a sanctuary will be to work with local fishermen and community members to better define the vision for the whale sanctuary and to initiate the regulatory processes necessary to establish the site.

The goal of the Whale Sanctuary Project is to have the sanctuary ready to receive whales by the end of 2021.

Dozens of considerations were taken to select the best location for a seaside sanctuary: from water analysis to seabed conditions, tides and currents, potential impacts of local wildlife on whales and vice versa. . Members of the organization visited sites along the southern and eastern shores and met with communities in Shelburne, Liverpool, Port Hawkesbury and Port sheet as good as Sherbrooke search for proposals for potential sites.

“As important as the physical properties of the location are in deciding the location of a site, we also knew that the relationship the sanctuary would have with its host community would be crucial,” said Vinick. “The Sherbrooke community exceeded all of our expectations. “

Plans for the sanctuary include a visitor center, nature trail, and lookout points. The sanctuary will also work with schools and museums to offer educational programs on the sanctuary’s whales and their counterparts in the wild.

Funding for the creation and operation of the sanctuary will be through private donations. Funding for the two-year search for an ideal site for the sanctuary was led by Munchkin, Inc., a maker of unique products for babies and children.

About the whale sanctuary project
The mission of the Whale Sanctuary Project is to establish a model seaside sanctuary where whales and dolphins can be rehabilitated or live permanently in an environment that maximizes well-being and self-reliance and is as close as possible to their natural habitat. . For more information visit

Heather ripley
Orchard of oranges
(865) 977-1973
[email protected]

SOURCE Whale Sanctuary Project

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