Law makes it illegal to capture dolphins, whales and porpoises in Canada

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Cetaceans at The Vancouver Aquarium. Photo Dan Toulgoet

Amendments to the federal Fisheries Act will make it illegal to capture whales, dolphins and porpoises in Canadian waters for the purpose of keeping them in captivity.

Federal officials say existing permits for such activities will be honoured but cetaceans will only be allowed to be captured in future if they are in distress, injured or in need of care.

The move comes in the wake of a Vancouver Park Board ban on the acquisition of new whales, dolphins or porpoises by the Vancouver aquarium.

It was among a number of changes introduced by the Trudeau government on Tuesday aimed at expanding protections for fish and protecting habitat.