As SeaWorld continues to refute damage to its business as a result of the so-called “Blackfish effect”, President and CEO Jim Atchison has reported international expansion plans. WDC notes this news with some concern.
SeaWorld already holds 23 orcas in its North American theme parks and a further 4 to 6 at Loro Parque zoo in the Canary Islands. Could discussions with potential partners include orca displays in other countries? China, for example, where around 50 zoos and aquaria hold captive whales and dolphins, many imported following wild capture operations in Russia and the Japanese drive hunts. Reports suggest at least two recently captured orcas from Russia are in captivity in China.
As Richard Branson and Virgin Holidays review their support for facilities like SeaWorld, we ask them to consider how this industry operates and the impact it has on wild whale and dolphin populations around the world.
If you haven’t already, please sign our petition calling on Sir Richard to end this support.