A petition on the change.org website posted by WDC supporter, Kathleen Haase, has been signed by over 50,000 people. The petition calls on British Airways to break ties with SeaWorld, similar to WDC’s campaign urging Virgin to do the same. British Airways also sells tickets to SeaWorld to people booking holidays through them. British Airways does not carry whales and dolphins captured from the wild on its aircraft and WDC supports this campaign calling on them to extend their policy to address growing concerns about whale and dolphin captivity.
The petition marks one of the more recent campaigns focused on SeaWorld’s incarceration of orcas for entertainment, ahead of a two-day meeting taking place this week in the United States and organised by Virgin, to look at the future of captive whale and dolphin tourism. WDC will be represented at the meeting along with other NGOs, travel industry representatives and businesses such as SeaWorld. A recent report from SeaWorld’s Jim Atchison suggests SeaWorld has not imported wild-caught whales and dolphins for three decades. WDC wonders how that position will be upheld with SeaWorld currently seeking to import wild-caught belugas from Russia, as part of a proposal by the Georgia Aquarium, denied by the US government but currently undergoing appeal.