Exciting news this past week! A bill has been introduced by Richard Bloom, the Assemblyman for California’s 50th district, and the chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Transportation, that would ban the use of orcas for entertainment and stunt shows like those that draw in the crowds at SeaWorld, and allow them only to keep killer whales in captivity for research, rescue, and rehabilitation.
They would also no longer be permitted to breed their orcas. Tillikum, the orca who is the main focus of the documentary, ‘Blackfish’, has sired 21 calves. One might wonder why Sea World thought it was a good idea to breed the whale that has lead to three human deaths. I don’t want to go on a rant, but these are large intelligent animals and a small pool isn’t enough room for one whale, they thought it was a good idea to bring 21 more into a captive world?
This bill would apply to everyone, not just Sea World, although Sea World San Diego is currently the only place in California showing captive orcas. Anyway, eventually, they would be required to free their orcas into the wild or an open water sea pen where they can have more room to swim and socialize than in their tiny concrete pools.
I say this is good news and a step in the right direction for our large marine friends. If you haven’t seen ‘Blackfish’ yet, I highly recommend you do. It is available for instant streaming on Netflix and I’m sure you can watch it countless other places as well.
P.S. Despite what Sea World would tell you, dorsal fin collapse is NOT normal.