SeaWorld has announced that it is to stop the sale of fish food that visitors can then feed to the captive dolphins at its Orlando park. The Discovery Cove venue will now offer the public 10 minutes with the dolphins in groups at a cost of $15 per person instead.
It is thought that one reason for the change is to limit the number of people being bitten by dolphins as they feed them fish, such as the incident involving Jillian Thomas, who was holding a tray of food. Jillian suffered from three puncture wounds and her father, who captured the incident on video, said that she could have been pulled into the water. Feeding dolphins in the wild is still illegal in the US and it is a subject that WDC has campaigned against.
SeaWorld has come under increasing pressure since the release of the documentary, Blackfish, which looked at the aggressive behaviour of orcas held in captivity and the deaths of some trainers. Since the film aired public opinion has turned against captivity and SeaWorld has suffered as a result. SeaWorld CEO, Jim Atchinson resigned at the end of last year following slumping profits and regular falls in share price.