Orcas the topic of Saturna conference

A conference this weekend on Saturna Island will highlight changes in the attitude toward and treatment of orcas.

The Moby Doll Symposium, which begins today and continues through Sunday in East Point Regional Park, will bring nine researchers to the island.

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The symposium is named after an orca, dubbed Moby Doll, that was captured in 1964 off the coast of Saturna and died in captivity three months later at the Vancouver Aquarium.

The whale was the world’s first orca to be displayed in a public aquarium.

Murray Newman, the founding director of the Vancouver Aquarium, will discuss the capture and treatment of the whale in captivity. Other researchers, including Lance Barrett-Lennard from the Vancouver Aquarium, will discuss the changing treatment of whales from the 1960s to today’s practices for ensuring their sustainability in the future.

Tickets for the symposium cost $25, but the organization’s website says the event is sold out.To check for changes, go to saturnaheritage.ca.

— Times Colonist

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