If there's something that we all share, it's an unconditional love for our beloved sea mammals. Dolphins and whales are two of the most popular sea mammals, and their intelligence and respective gentle nature is what makes them so lovable.

For years, these popular creatures have been kept in tanks that are too small for them so that they can suitably entertain us humans. Keeping these sea creatures in captivity and making money off their performances in front of huge audiences has sadly become common practice, mostly thanks to SeaWorld resorts around the world.

In recent times, however, protests have been made against the captivity of these intelligent sea mammals, and it appears that the consistency of these uproars is beginning to take effect. Canada is the most recent country to take action against the cruelty that is inflicted on its dolphins and whales by completely banning the captivity of these creatures. Read on to find out more about the "Free Willy" Bill...

 

Dolphins and whales are the most popular sea mammals held in captivity.

via: Shutterstock

Since the 1960s, whales and dolphins have been kept in captivity and have been forced to perform to audiences of hundreds of people, all to make money for the companies keeping them in their confinement.

The SeaWorld effect...

via: Shutterstock

As well as whales, dolphins have been used in captivity for many years for the purpose of human entertainment. SeaWorld, which has three parks in the US and one in Dubai, made the captivity of these mammals popular in the amusement park industry and has featured whales and dolphins in performances since its first few years of opening in the 1960s.

There are heartbreaking statistics...

via: Shutterstock

Since SeaWorld opened in 1964, a total of 166 orca whales (killer whales) have been taken from the wild and put into captivity; 129 of these orcas are now dead. At least forty-nine orcas have died at a SeaWorld park.

These intelligent mammals are kept in underwater prisons.

via: Shutterstock

As a likely consequence of their intelligence, dolphins and whales are trained and forced to adopt traits that are usually considered unusual in their species in the wild. For instance, dolphins are trained with food to learn their tricks, but this training involves food deprivation. They are also trained to present their tails and remain motionless for regular blood draws, which is obviously not natural.

The things that these whales and dolphins are trained to do are completely unnatural.

Dolphins and whales swim up to a hundred miles a day in the wild; whilst in captivity, the space that they are kept in is the equivalent to a bathtub. What on earth is humane about that?

Enough is enough.

via: Shutterstock

Since 2013, four humans have been killed by interacting with orca whales. All of these incidents happened while the whales were kept in captivity. Thee of these incidents involved the same orca, Tilikum, who was held in captivity by SeaWorld. Tilikum drowned 2 of his former trainers by dragging them to, and holding them at, the bottom of the tank, and he also killed a local man who broke into the park and entered the tank late at night.

A little foolish.

via: Shutterstock

It took three deaths for SeaWorld to put a stop to trainers entering the water with the whales. Even then, this was a foolish measure to take; captivity of these animals should have been stopped completely.

Changes need to be made.

Animal activist groups all around the world, including Peta, began campaigning and protesting against the captivity of whales and dolphins.

Progress has finally been made.

After decades of protesting and campaigning, a step towards progression has finally been made.

A victory...

Canada's House of Commons has passed a Bill that will put a complete ban on holding any species of dolphin or whale in captivity.

It's called the "Free Willy" Bill.

The Bill will be become an official law in Canada at the end of the month, meaning freedom for the dolphins and whales of Canada.

It's been a long time coming.

The passing of this Bill is a huge victory for Canada, and it's safe to say that it's about time that justice is served for the poor creatures that have endured the horrors of captivity over the years.

The Bill carries some hefty consequences...

The "Free Willy" Bill aka Bill S-203 (Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act), completely bans the keeping and breeding of these animals in captivity. Anybody now caught doing these things will face a fine of up to $200,000 (CAD), which is equivalent to 150,000 US dollars.

The Bill doesn't only ban keeping the animals in captivity...

via: Shutterstock

This new law also restricts the importation and exportation of dolphins and whales. Making these creatures perform for entertainment purposes will also be banned completely.

The Bill fought through the legislative process for years...

via: Shutterstock

The "Free Willy" Bill fought through legislation for nearly 4 years, surviving much backlash from aquariums and parks such as MarineLand and The Vancouver Aquarium. Independent Sen. Murray Sinclair, the former judge who helped to process the Bill through parliament, said: "The Bill is a simple and straightforward one. It works from the presumption that placing these beautiful creatures into the kinds of pens that they have been kept in is inherently cruel."

History is being made for marine animals.

via: Shutterstock

Executive Director of the Humane Society International/Canada Rebecca Aldworth, stated: "The passage of Bill S-203 is a watershed moment in the protection of marine animals and a victory for all Canadians."

They don't belong in tanks...

via: Shutterstock

She went on to say: "Whales and dolphins don't belong in tanks, and the inherent suffering these highly social and intelligent animals endure in intensive confinement can no longer be tolerated."

A big congratulations is in order...

"We congratulate the sponsors of this Bill and the Canadian government for showing strong leadership in responding to the public will and sound science on this critical issue," Aldworth went on to say.

Canada has done the right thing.

Now that Canada has taken this victorious step in the conservation of our beautiful sea mammals, it's time for the rest of the world to get on board. Dolphins and whales need to be in the ocean rather than tanks - they need to be exactly where they belong.