The battle resumes this week between the US federal government and Sea World over whether to allow Sea World’s trainers to perform alongside captive orcas in its shows.
Sea World is seeking to overturn a ruling made in 2012 which prohibited trainers from conducting water work with all orcas unless protected by physical barriers or decking systems that provide a similar level of protection.
The request for these increased safety measures originally came from from US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in February 2010. The trainer’s death is the subject of the successful and thought-provoking documentary, Blackfish which has taken the world by storm in recent months and exposed the cruelty and dangers behind these ‘entertainment’ shows.
A permanent end to trainers at its facilities in the US being able to work with orcas in the water represents a massive blow to Sea World.
Blackfish can be seen on UK TV (BBC4) on 21st November.