4 min read

A Beautiful Alternative To Marine Captivity

Ocean Walls, a Canadian exhibit which debuted November 8, opens a window into the Pacific Ocean without stepping outside to do so. The concept of the exhibit, launching in Victoria, B.C.'s, Hillside Centre, is a digital interactive medium that allows people to share their personal encounters with the wild by taking the online world into the real world of public spaces like shopping centers.

Even more compelling is the history behind the exhibit. Chris Porter, one of the creators of Ocean Walls, is no stranger to cetaceans and our oceans. He got his start as a trainer at Sealand of the Pacific where he worked with Tilikum, the whale highlighted in the film Blackfish. Later he became senior trainer at Vancouver Aquarium. Following his work at Vancouver Aquarium, he was one of the leading dolphin traders in the captivity industry, capturing dolphins in the Solomon Islands. In 2009, Chris came under fire for his work in the trade and left the Solomon Islands, leaving behind the dolphin export business as well.

Since then, Porter has become a major activist for marine mammals, even after 25 years in the captivity industry. He has always loved dolphins, and now has come to see the beauty of dolphins in their own waters. Last year, he was featured in Blackfish where he shares his experiences with Tilikum. He has also made several other public appearances to share his story and bring awareness to captive cetaceans and the plight of our oceans. He's frustrated that the millions of dollars being spent on aquariums does not solve the wild conservation issues and initiatives that need to be funded. Ocean Walls will bring the current state of our ocean and it's inhabitants to the forefront of the public eye, reaching a greater audience with a variety of backgrounds and interests.

It is time to lay the myth to rest that people cannot be happy unless the real thing is in front of them.