Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
The world is watching Japan this Rugby World Cup so let’s Stop Whaling

The world is watching Japan this Rugby World Cup so let’s Stop Whaling

Today is the start of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.  As a Welshman,...
Whaling and dolphin hunts in Japan – it’s all money and politics

Whaling and dolphin hunts in Japan – it’s all money and politics

I have been busy representing WDC in a number of press interviews on the launch...
Scientists call on EU and Member States to take action to prevent dolphin deaths

Scientists call on EU and Member States to take action to prevent dolphin deaths

After more than 1,000 common dolphins washed up dead on the French coast over the...
How one of our supporters played a major role in persuading British Airways to say ‘goodbye’ to SeaWorld

How one of our supporters played a major role in persuading British Airways to say ‘goodbye’ to SeaWorld

Back in 2014, I asked WDC supporter, Kathleen Haase, if she would like to help...
We’re so close to winning protected areas in Scotland’s seas

We’re so close to winning protected areas in Scotland’s seas

It’s been eight years since we formally asked the Scottish government to protect the marine...
Take part in our competition to win an adorable limited edition Māui dolphin bag by Don Fisher!

Take part in our competition to win an adorable limited edition Māui dolphin bag by Don Fisher!

This cute Māui dolphin bag is a limited edition piece made by our wonderful partners...
Globe-trotting dolphins – what’s going on?

Globe-trotting dolphins – what’s going on?

Strange things are afoot with the adopt a dolphin gang. Mischief and pals are off...
Love Islands – my top five British islands for spotting whales and dolphins

Love Islands – my top five British islands for spotting whales and dolphins

Have you ever seen a whale or dolphin from the UK coast? It’s easier than...

I’m Bl**dy Angry!

Such was the reaction to BA’s letter from all of us at WDC and the hundreds of thousands of people who had signed Kathleen Haase’s change.org petition calling on British Airways to stop selling trips to SeaWorld. It also came as something of a surprise. At our meeting with BA on 13th October, the company acknowledged public concern over the issue of orcas in captivity, expressed the need to understand the science behind the evidence of orca suffering in captivity and welcomed the opportunity to continue the dialogue with us, noting they were meeting with SeaWorld and others in the coming weeks. It seems, however, that, in spite of all the evidence we presented to them and in spite of growing public concern, including that of BA customers, SeaWorld’s ‘presentation of the facts’ has been taken at face value. We find this hugely disappointing.

TWEET BA NOW!

This week’s letter, addressed to Kathleen and copied to me, references the ABTA guidance for the welfare of animals in tourism, noting that “SeaWorld has assured us that its animal care standards exceed this best practice guidance”. But the ABTA guidance on dolphins in captive environments, part of the welfare series, asks ABTA members not to promote facilities which separate mothers and calves, allow handling of whales and dolphins and display unnatural behaviours, all features of regular practice at SeaWorld. BA’s letter also references US law, which has not been updated to take into account recent concerns about whale and dolphin captivity and which, in terms of aspects such as pool size, falls far behind more recently developed standards in countries like Italy and Brazil. Standards set by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as well as the Association of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums are industry standards and, therefore, not legally-binding.

It also states that “SeaWorld does not collect cetaceans from the wild” and, while we have welcomed SeaWorld parks’ recent signing of the Virgin (Virgin not BA!) pledge against the continuation of wild captures, SeaWorld remain part of an application by the Georgia Aquarium, currently under appeal, to bring in recently caught wild belugas from Russia.

It mentions nothing about continuing the dialogue with us.

BA’s response is therefore hugely disappointing. In spite of the volumes of evidence about the suffering inflicted on orcas and other whales and dolphins in captivity and increasing concerns raised by all stakeholder groups about the welfare of orcas at SeaWorld parks, BA has ignored public opinion, including that of its customers, in favour of a failing business that probably wouldn’t get off the ground if it was starting today.

No wonder we’re Bl**dy Angry!

Read the letter from BA

TWEET BA NOW!

Please support our work to protect whales and dolphins.

Cathy Williamson

About Cathy Williamson

Policy manager - End Captivity Programme Lead