The newly passed bill — dubbed the "Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act" — will make it illegal to import, export keep or breed whales, dolphins and porpoises. It will also make whale and dolphin performances illegal, with those found in violation of the law facing fines of nearly $150,000.
The famed seapark Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario will remain open, as it was grandfathered in to the legislation. It will not be forced to get rid of its 55 cetaceans, but it can't breed or purchase more of them.
The park, which fought against the ban, said that the bill "recognizes the educational role of Marineland by prohibiting entertainment only shows while continuing to permit Marineland's Educational Presentations."
Canadian environmentalists and Green Party representatives celebrated the bill as step forward for the protection of marine animals.
"Nothing fantastic ever happens in a hurry. But today we celebrate that we have ended the captivity and breeding of whales and dolphins," Humane Canada wrote. "This is news to splash a fin at."