Seven Reasons SeaWorld's Bigger Orca Tanks Project Is a Joke

Categories: Animal Planet

shamu-swo.jpg
Yathin S Krishnappa/Wikipedia Commons
SeaWorld has been in a bit of a pickle since the documentary Blackfish (and its ensuing soaring viewership on CNN and Netflix) came out in 2013. The documentary, which features several former SeaWorld trainers, exposes the park's inhumane practices with orcas, including how the whales are kept in small, cramped tanks.

But last week, SeaWorld announced a new project that will supposedly expand its orcas' tanks, doubling the space they currently live in with deeper water. They also announced the formation of an advisory group that includes a professor from UC Davis veterinary school, a researcher at UC Santa Cruz, and a physiologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla.

The project, dubbed Blue World, is the company's multimillion-dollar attempt at expanding its captive orcas' environment while showing a very concerned public that it cares about their whales.

Here are seven reasons why this project is a complete and utter joke:

See also: SeaWorld Denies Shareholders Vote on Whale Sanctuary

tilikum-tank.jpg
Wikimedia Commons
7. Tilikum Killed People Because Captivity Drove Him Nuts
Orca bull Tilikum has killed three people. One of them, a trainer he basically scalped as he threw her around like a rag doll. The reason this happened wasn't because orcas are evil monsters. It's because Tilikum has been confined to an artificial space where he spends his days as frustrated as you would be if you had to live your whole life in a box. And Tilikum isn't the only orca in captivity to attack and kill humans. But Tilikum, who still lives his days in Orlando's SeaWorld, is the face of this whole whale-in-captivity experiment gone horribly wrong. Meanwhile, there have been exactly zero recorded moments of an orca attacking a human in the wild. Bigger tanks are going to fix that?

Which leads us to...

shamu-0997.jpg
wikimedia commons/ Milan Boers
6. The Fancy Big Changes Are Still Artificial
The crux of SeaWorld's Blue World Project is that the new tanks will be bigger, covering 1.5 acres at 50 feet deep and 350 feet wide. The new tanks will hold 10 million gallons of water, which is double the amount they currently hold. The new tanks will also feature a 40-foot partition for people to view the whales below the water line. That seems like a better situation than what the whales are currently in. But whales belong in the unlimited open space of the ocean, where they can roam freely in their own habitat, and not in a glorified bathtub with people watching them. Orcas are known for traveling vast miles in a straight line at high speeds, use the ocean depth to communicate with each other for miles, and send their clicks and signals to hunt for prey -- as they are designed by nature to do. An artificial tank, no matter how large, still stifles an orca's very existence. This is why you see orcas in parks with drooping dorsal fins, and orcas in the wild with straight, erect dorsal fins. At the end of the day, they're still limited to where they can swim, are still expected to jump into the air for fish, and will still be watched by people for money. None of these things happen in the wild.

(Also, again, they don't kill people in the wild.)

shamu-97532.jpg
David R. Tribble
5. These Changes Were About Money, Nothing More
Back in March, SeaWorld insisted that Blackfish and the ensuing protests had no impact whatsoever on their bottom line or on how the park would handle its business. Now, suddenly, as if by magic, it's decided to announce its Blue World Project out of thin air.

Coincidentally, it's doing this just as news of the company's bottom line is getting rocked on Wall Street. Last week came the news that the company's stock fell 33 percent. Attendance has been flat this summer (a time when attendance is high for theme parks), and the company is hemorrhaging money. Now, out of the blue, comes the decision to construct the bigger tanks and hire an advisory group. SeaWorkd still insists that this is about the trainers and the whales and not the protesters. The company does this while pointing out that "more than 20,000 people will visit SeaWorld today who will enjoy our park and be inspired by our animals." Even in its statement announcing Blue World, SeaWorld can't help but try to make it sound as if all is well, nothing to worry about here, look at all the people coming to our park, you should totally come to the park too!


My Voice Nation Help
11 comments
bboni22
bboni22

I think this whole controversy thing since black fish is really starting to get blown out of proportion. Yes seaworld is horrible and how they tear apart orca families and strip them from their ecosystem is horrible. BUT what about zoos?

You know lions and giraffes and all the other cute cuddly things you can find at a zoo? No one is fighting for their rights here either.

Believe what you want. I have never gone to seaworld and do not plan on ever going to seaworld but I believe if you are gonna start attacking orcas in captivity like we are, then we should start fighting for all the other animals in captivity too.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

For the love of Pete.  Killer whales kill dolphins for fun.  Just think of how many little dolphin families are safe from these captive killer whales.  

Humans are a part of the ecosystem too.  

markie19
markie19 topcommenter


6 minutes ago


10 days ago

READ SEE THE FRIEND IN THIS VIDEO CLIP THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON MOST PEOPLE HAVE BETRAYED ME CAREFUL IT COULD BE YOUR SPOUSE AND YOU COULD NEVER KNOW OR YOUR BEST FRIEND OR YOUR DOCTOR -MINE I THINK WAS GOING TO LET THEM KILL ME-HE IS INVOLVED DR BEACH READ MARKIE MC NIGHT I NEED DR PHIL DR BEACH HAD A CON MAN IN HIS OFFICE THAT DATED PEGGY AND WAS ON DR PHIL-MY MEDICAL RECORDS WERE STOLEN TOO-WATCH YOURS READ MARKIE MC NIGHTEdit (in 6 minutes)

DeleteShare
DeleteShareLikeReplymarkie19Jul 5, 2014

markie19

6 minutes ago

markie19

1 hour ago

Kerry Goad6 seconds ago via YouTube

LikeLike · · Subscribe on YouTube · SharePelican Brief TrailerPelican Brief TrailerDeleteShareLikeReplymarkie195 hours ago

Read new times uses my stories of the janbrewisms and then writes stories and gets me no help darrow k soll killed no suicide is Steve Lemons dirty or Matthew -google Markerry Soll Mc Night medium so i can get no law enforcement in most states they killed him not crazy 

DeleteShare
Pelican Brief TrailerPelican Brief Trailer

kdavis227
kdavis227

@bboni22 I agree with your well thought out comment and I would only add that besides zoo animals we should also be standing up for beef cattle that live a basically horrible life in an area so small and packed together that they can hardly move while developing sores on their feet and legs from standing in their own excrement.

LSKD88
LSKD88

@whateveryousay They really are monsters. I've seen numerous videos of them separating a mother whale and her baby so that they can drown and devour the babies. 

sheskrafty
sheskrafty

@whateveryousay....Can you please do the human race a favor and go kill yourself? You are the reason why there is no hope for this planet. Do you even know what an ecosystem is? Do you honestly believe that humans have anything to do with the ecosystem in the ocean? Unless you're a marine mammal or a fish...are you a marine mammal? Are you a dolphin? Asshole.

curtisandwendy6768
curtisandwendy6768

@whateveryousay Wow... does being ignorant and insensitive come naturally to you OR do you have to work at it??  Im going to go with it comes naturally to you....

These souls are very aware.... and for them to be shoved in a swimming pool for all of their lives is wrong.....  And people like you that use something like this to make jokes or whatever it is you were trying to do.... just don't have compassion and empathy for ANYTHING.... this is also known as being a psychopath... 

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...