BY: JESSICA BEUKER
On Thursday, the California Coastal Commission approved a $100 million expansion of killer whale tanks in SeaWorld San Diego—but with conditions. In a last minute amendment that followed the daylong meeting, the commission banned the breeding of captive orcas.
In a last minute amendment, the California Coastal Commission has banned the breeding of captive orcas.
According to the Guardian, the amendment also prohibits the sale, trade or transfer of captive orcas. The breeding ban, which includes breeding through artificial insemination, will affect the captive orcas at the California park, but not SeaWorld facilities in other states.
This will prohibit the sale, trade or transfer of captive orcas.
SeaWorld said it was disappointed by the conditions attached to the approval of the Blue World expansion, according to the Guardian. The expansion is set to open in 2018 and will triple the size of existing killer whale enclosures, replacing the 1.7 m gallon pool with a 5.2 m gallon tank and 450,000 gallon pool. The park states: “Breeding is a natural, fundamental and important part of an animal’s life and depriving a social animal of the right to reproduce is inhumane.”
SeaWorld states that depriving the orcas from reproducing is inhumane, but the methods used are anything but natural.
Unfortunately the methods that SeaWorld uses to breed orcas are anything but natural and humane. This includes artificial insemination, which keeps them continuously breeding, breeding its orcas too young, and inbred orcas.
These methods include artificial insemination and inbreeding.
Attendance at the park has declined, according to the Guardian, ever since the release of the documentary Blackfish in 2013. The documentary suggests that SeaWorld’s treatment of captive orcas provokes aggressive and violent behaviour—something we’ve seen time and again.
So it’s no surprise that animal rights activists around the world are thrilled about the new ban. “These 11 orcas would be the last 11 orcas there,” Jared Goodman, a lawyer with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said referring to the whales at the California park.
“These 11 orcas would be the last 11 orcas there”
A statement by PETA said: “SeaWorld has admitted that it intended to breed even more orcas to fill the new tanks, but the commission’s action today ensures that no more orcas will be condemned to a non-life of loneliness, deprivation, and misery if SeaWorld proceeds with their Blue World project.” The ban is a step in the right direction and will spark conversations on the issue, hopefully prompting other states to implement the same ban in their own marine parks.