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The First Sanctuary for Rescued Whales in North America is Expected to Open in 2023

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The Whale Sanctuary Project has launched its visitor and operations center, marking the first step toward its aim of creating North America’s first seashore sanctuary for captive whales.

A non-profit conservation group The Whale Refuge Project (WSP) has launched its visitor and operations center in Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, marking the start of the organization’s goal to establish North America’s first seaside sanctuary for whales rescued or retired from captivity.

Sea to Sky

“Today was the successful grand opening of our Sanctuary Operations Center in Port Hilford, Nova Scotia”. “We were there to celebrate this major milestone in our project and the next step in achieving our goal of creating the first seaside sanctuary for belugas and orcas in North America.”

Instagram post from Whale Refuge Project (WSP)

Whale specialist Charles Vinnick revealed Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia would be the official home base for the first whale sanctuary in North America in 2020, according to The Scuba News Canada.

The 100-acre sanctuary will be surrounded by nets, allowing wild whales to wander freely around the area for the first time in their lives, and they will be able to swim in a straight line for several body lengths. The refuge is slated to open next year near Port Hilford, NS, about a 20-minute drive from the visitor centre, in a bay open to the North Atlantic Ocean.

The sanctuary will keep them safe and secure from the elements, and a hydrodynamic analysis indicated that the bay is regularly flushed by currents and tides, ensuring that any accumulated whale waste is carried away.

The ceremony was recently attended by Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, Arthur LeBlanc and approximately 100 individuals.


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Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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