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Large number of dolphins moved to Abu Dhabi marine park

Up to 24 captive bottlenose dolphins have reportedly been sent to a new SeaWorld theme...
Southern resident orca_CWR_Rob Lott

Success! Removal of last river dams to help threatened orcas in the US

Great news has emerged from the US concerning our work to protect the endangered orca...

More important ocean areas for whales and dolphin protection identified

Scientists and observers from many different countries have identified and mapped 36 new Important Marine...
captive dolphin

Las Vegas dolphin facility to close

Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat in Las Vegas is to permanently close....

SeaWorld to 'phase out orca shows' at San Diego

SeaWorld announced on Monday that it would ‘phase out orca shows’ at its San Diego marine park by 2017. (Listen to WDC interview on BBC below).

The company has been under mounting pressure in recent years ever since the release of the film documentary Blackfish. Recent poor financial performance and the decision by the California Coastal Commission to only allow an expansion of its pools provided no further breeding took place have just added to its woes, while a multi-million dollar marketing campaign was widely criticized and celebrities such as Harry Styles have told fans not to visit the park.

Local paper,  the San Diego Union Tribune reported on Monday that SeaWorld’s Shamu stadium would instead replaced by an “informative” experience designed to take place in a more natural setting that would carry a “conservation message inspiring people to act”.

Chief Executive Joel Manby has told investors that the company was listening to its visitors. However, orca shows will continue at SeaWorld’s other parks in Orlando and San Antonio, and WDC is concerned that the definition of ‘shows’ may well be not what everyone expects from this announcement, with SeaWorld still talking about orca’s leaping and jumping being a ‘natural’ behaviour. 

Listen to WDC’s Chief Executive, Chris Butler-Stroud on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

Find out the facts about orcas in captivity.


About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.