Canada passes 'Free Willy' bill banning whale and dolphin captivity

A mother and a baby killer whale pictured off Puget Sound in Washington State in 2015.

(CNN)Canada's House of Commons passed a bill Monday to make it illegal to hold a whale, dolphin or porpoise captive, punishable by fines up to $150,000 USD.

It's known colloquially as the "Free Willy" bill, named after the 1993 movie in which a young boy frees a killer whale from a US amusement park.
"Nothing fantastic ever happens in a hurry. But today we celebrate that we have ended the captivity and breeding of whales and dolphins. This is news to splash a fin at," animal rights group Humane Canada said in a tweet.
The bill is expected to become law. It was introduced in the Senate in December 2015 and was already approved there but must return now and gain "royal assent."