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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....

WDC citizen science project nominated for Scottish nature award

The success of WDC's Shorewatch programme was acknowledged recently after being nominated in the Citizen...

Whale meat fetches record high at Japan auction

Sei whale meat is being sold at a record high in Japan according media reports...

Florida Orca Protection Act introduced in Florida State House

The Florida Orca Protection Act, which would provide certain legal protections to orcas held in captivity in the state of Florida, has been officially introduced to the Florida House of Representatives.   Modeled after the California Orca Protection Act, signed into law in September of 2016, the Florida bill would reinforce a ban on captive orca performances and breeding programs in the state.

“The Florida Orca Protection Act ensures that SeaWorld is held to its promise to end orca captivity and extends these important protections to other captive-held orcas in Florida,” says Colleen Weiler, WDC’s Rekos Fellow for Orca Conservation. “This is an amazing first step to ending orca captivity in Florida, and we look forward to working with our partners to make sure this bill becomes law.”

After intense public pressure, declining ticket sales, and falling share prices following the release of the 2013 documentary Blackfish, SeaWorld pledged to end captive breeding and phase out the use of orcas for entertainment in their U.S. facilities.  The California and Florida laws aim to make these protections legal requirements, and also prevent the transport of orcas overseas or any future marine parks from holding orcas captive.  The Florida bill would also protect captive Southern Resident orca Tokitae (Lolita), held at the Miami Seaquarium.

After several high-profile deaths at SeaWorld facilities in 2017, including Tilikum, the subject of Blackfish, and Kyara, the last orca born at SeaWorld, there are now 23 captive orcas in North America.