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Switch to Forum Live View California Agency Bans Orca Breeding at SeaWorld
2 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2015 - 1:26PM #1
Merope
Posts: 14,591

The California Coastal Commission has approved a $100 million expansion of the tanks SeaWorld uses to hold killer whales in San Diego. 


However, the commission has banned breeding of the captive orcas that would live in them.


The decision would ban the breeding of captive orcas — including through artificial insemination —  at SeaWorld in California but not at SeaWorld facilities in other states.


The decision also prohibits the sale, trade, or transfer of captive orcas.  The decision also attached several conditions to the approval, including that no new whales from the wild will be kept at SeaWorld.  SeaWorld says it hasn't captured wild orcas in more than 30 years.  The decision does provide a potential exemption for certain whales caught in the wild; but it's not immediately clear whether that applies to any of the orcas at SeWorld.


In a statement, SeaWorld said it was disappointed by the conditions attached to the approval of its "Blue World" expansion, set to open in 2018, which would triple the size of its existing killer whale enclosures.


The commission's decision has raised an array of questions, including whether SeaWorld would proceed with the project or raise a legal challenge, possibly on ground that the commission overstepped its authority.  SeaWorld said it was considering its options.


Attendance at SeaWorld has declined since the release of the popular documentary Blackfish in 2013, which suggests SeaWorld's treatment of captive orcas provokes violent behavior.  SeaWorld's stock price also has dropped over the past 2 years.


The California Coastal Commission regulates land and water use along the California coast.


www.sacbee.com/news/state/article3831219...


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2 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2015 - 1:30PM #2
Merope
Posts: 14,591

Animal rights activists said the new tanks would only lead to more captivity for orcas.


John Hargrove, a former SeaWorld trainer in California and Texas who has written a book about his experiences — and who appeared in the Blackfish film — said whales are heavily medicated and family structures that define life in the wild are broken.


The whales gnaw the edges of their pools, breaking or wearing teeth, and inbreeding has created "hybrid orcas who have no true social identity," he said.


Coastal Commissioner Gregory Cox, who favored the expansion, said it would be a good thing to increase the size of the orcas' habitat.


But Commissioner Dayna Bochco, who brought up the no-breeding amendment, said she agreed with scientists who believe that the killer whales are suffering in captivity.  "They don't belong in captivity," she said.


Under the expansion, SeaWorld would demolish portions of a 1995 facility that included a 1.7-million gallon pool and replace it with a 5.2-million gallon tank and 450,000-gallon pool.


The Orlando, Florida-based company had said the orca population at the San Diego facility would not significantly increase due to the "Blue World" project.


www.sacbee.com/news/state/article3831219...


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2 years ago  ::  Oct 15, 2015 - 3:57PM #3
Merope
Posts: 14,591

This thread was moved from the Hot Topics Zone.

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