SeaWorld’s multi-million dollar expansion plan to build a larger orca (or killer whale) tanks has had its first public airing in the US. The expansion plan is seen by many as an attempt to halt falling share prices and revenues following a public backlash against the cruel whale and dolphin captivity industry.
The plan comes amid a turbulent year for the company. Attendances continued to drop off and, last month, the CEO of the parent company of SeaWorld, Jim Atchison, stepped down.
Despite the fact that orcas in the wild are free to roam over 100 miles each day, SeaWorld sees building slightly bigger tanks as a way to ‘improve’ their concrete environment. But, SeaWorld’s expansion plans, regardless whether they actually come to fruition or not, still fail to solve the root problems associated with captivity—too small tanks that are marginally larger or deeper are still too small and fully inadequate to meet the physical and psychological requirements of these ocean giants.
“Pumping more money into larger pools is mostly cosmetic and will have negligible impact on the welfare and quality of life for the orcas held in these pools, and will fail to address all of the other ills associated with captivity”, says WDC captivity campaigner, Courtney Vail.
“These superficial attempts to quell public criticism surrounding the confinement of orcas in captivity suggest SeaWorld is still in denial of the fact the public does not want to pay to witness animal exploitation anymore.”