Bill could endanger SeaWorld’s orca shows
by DAVE SCHWAB
Mar 22, 2014 | 2766 views | 3 3 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
 If proposed state legislation is passed by lawmakers, SeaWorld San Diego could be forced to halt one of its most popular features — the performance of killer whales for audiences.                      SeaWorld courtesy photo
If proposed state legislation is passed by lawmakers, SeaWorld San Diego could be forced to halt one of its most popular features — the performance of killer whales for audiences. SeaWorld courtesy photo
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The documentary “Blackfish” and the reaction of Point Loma High theater students chiming in with a public-service announcement calling for SeaWorld to eliminate orca show performances has ignited a chain reaction of local debate and inspired a state Assembly bill that would do just that.

State Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) has introduced legislation that would stop SeaWorld from using killer whales in tandem with trainers at the marine-mammal park.

The assemblyman said the recent documentary “Blackfish,” which aired multiple times on CNN recently, points to animal abuse of orcas at marine parks — the inspiration behind his bill.

“There is no justification for the continued captive display of orcas for entertainment purposes,’” Bloom said. “These beautiful creatures are much
too large and far too intelligent to be confined in small, concrete tanks for their entire lives.”


SeaWorld quickly responded to Bloom’s bill.

“The premise behind this proposed legislation is severely flawed on multiple levels, and its validity is highly questionable under the United States and California Constitutions,” said SeaWorld San Diego spokesman Dave Koontz. “We trust that our leaders who are responsible for voting on this proposal will recognize the clear bias of those behind the bill.”

SeaWorld claims Bloom’s backers on the bill are “well-known extreme animal-rights activists, many of whom regularly campaign against SeaWorld and other accredited marine-mammal parks and institutions.”

The marine-mammal park insists Bloom’s supporters include “some of the same activists that partnered with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in bringing the meritless claim that animals in human care should be considered slaves under the 13th amendment of the U.S. Constitution — a clear publicity stunt. This legislation reflects the same sort of out-of-the-mainstream thinking.”

 Referring to SeaWorld and similar institutions as “abusement parks,” animal-rights activists are increasingly calling on the marine-mammal park to retire its orcas to seaside sanctuaries.

The animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has also reportedly threatened to sue San Diego’s airport for refusing to allow advertising urging visitors to not go to SeaWorld until the marine-mammal park changes its allegedly abusive policy of requiring animals to perform in entertainment shows.

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aliceinlalaland
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March 24, 2014
It is quote sad to think that a supposedly intelligent person could watch a movie and think they know everything there is to know about orcas and Sea world.. especially when the movie was an obvious piece of propaganda.

everyone is an "internet expert" who think their undereducated opinion counts for something.

This appears to be a ploy for votes and since when is an assemblyman qualified to make decisions about Sea World? I would guess that a payment has been made.

Finally, no one and I mean NO ONE knows what the orcas think.. we anthropomorphize them until they think like we want them to and we act as if they have human emotions.. they don't never had .. never will. Free Willy was a MOVIE.. Blackfish is a propaganda piece. Politicians should stick to what they know. not what they pretend to know or are fed by animal rights activists.
LMary
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March 22, 2014
I suppose there are 'extreme activists' involved in this movement. That's not me...a resident of So Cal who attended Sea World with my children some years ago...A person who watched #Blackfish recently and finally woke up. That movie opened my eyes to the immorality of the capture/training/entertainment for profit use of those magnificent ocean dwellers. Whatever Sea World has to say to defend their business model will have no affect on me. I can finally see through the eyes of those Orcas condemned to a life in a cement pool. It is past time for Sea World to stop exploiting them for profit; to allow them a modicum of their natural home and to stop captive breeding. My family will not walk through their gates until they do so. And I fully support Assemblyman Bloom's proposed bill.
EricMills
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March 22, 2014
I share your sentiments, LMary. NO cetaceans belong in captivity, and certainly not for mere circus-like "entertainment"--it demeans us all.

SeaWorld is to be commended for its efforts over the years on behalf of marine animals, but it's time for the orca shows to go.

Surely we'll not let unfounded worries over "job and revenue loss" trump the REAL issues: animal welfare, ethics and morality....Will we?

SeaWorld can and will do just fine without these shows. Ever been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium? They feature no such shows, and draw thousands daily. SeaWorld can and should do likewise.

And Texas and Florida should follow suit ASAP.