As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd. 19th July 2018 - ENTA AUSTRALASIA REBRANDS AS VIVATICKET 17th October 2016…read more
SeaWorld USA to move away from killer whale shows
Animals rights groups are welcoming the decision by Orlando, USA-based SeaWorld to stop breeding killer whales and to phase out its signature theatrical shows starring the huge mammals.
As a result, the killer whales/orcas currently kept at its three US parks (SeaWorld San Diego, SeaWorld San Antonio and SeaWorld Orlando) will be the last to be held in captivity
While Sea World on the Gold Coast does not breed, keep or exhibit killer whales, the signature ‘Shamu’ entertainment shows at Sea World’s US properties, featuring killer whales, are a major part of the SeaWorld experience.
The move to end the shows was prompted by ongoing campaigning by animals rights groups and negative public sentiment following the controversial and influential 2013 documentary film Blackfish. The film, which focused on the sufferings of orcas in captivity, helped swing public opinion away from killer whale shows.
In a statement, SeaWorld Entertainment President and Chief Executive Joel Manby explained “times have changed, and we are changing with them. The killer whales currently in our care will be the last generation of killer whales at SeaWorld. The company will end all orca breeding as of today.
“We always put the health and well-being of the whales first. We have the leading veterinary and scientific experts in the country to advise us on how to do this in a way that puts the health and well-being of the whales first.
“We love our whales and so do many of our visitors and this is about doing the best thing for our whales, our guests, our employees and SeaWorld.
“SeaWorld has introduced more than 400 million guests to orcas, and we are proud of our part in contributing to the human understanding of these animals. We’ve helped make orcas among the most beloved marine mammals on the planet.
“As society’s understanding of orcas continues to change, SeaWorld is changing with it. By making this the last generation of orcas in our care and reimagining how guests will experience these beautiful animals, we are fulfilling our mission of providing visitors to our parks with experiences that matter.”
Manby announced that a new SeaWorld killer whale attraction will take its experiences in a “new direction”, advising “we will introduce new, inspiring, natural orca encounters rather than theatrical shows, as part of our ongoing commitment to education, marine science research and the rescue of marine animals.”
SeaWorld has not collected an orca from the wild in almost 40 years, and the vast majority of its orcas were born under human care.
SeaWorld advised that these killer whales would struggle to survive in the ocean, adding “these orcas have never lived in the wild and could not survive in oceans that include environmental concerns such as pollution and other man-made threats.”
Not only will SeaWorld halt its orca breeding program, it will invest US$50 million to push for an end to commercial whaling and seal hunting.
Responsible Travel and the World Cetacean Alliance welcomed SeaWorld’s move.
Dylan Walker of World Cetacean Alliance declared “in just one day it has gone from public enemy number one to a potential leader for change.
“That’s a game changer not just for SeaWorld but for the industry worldwide. We hope to see the dolphinarium industry around the world follow suit.”
Released in July 2013, Gabriela Cowperthwaite's Blackfish led to SeaWorld suffering drops in attendances and profit and led to the resignation of SeaWorld Chief Executive Jim Atchison in December 2014.
Sea World on the Gold Coast - a division of Village Roadshow, which has no affiliation with US-based SeaWorld Entertainment, the subject of the Blackfish documentary - does not exhibit, keep or deal in orcas.
It explains that it "is proud of its world class exhibits for dolphins, including some of the largest filtered natural sandy bottom lagoon systems in the world."
Image: Killer whale show at SeaWorld Orlando (top) and a still from the movie Blackfish (below).
9th March 2016 - Sea World Resort named ‘Best Australian Family Resort’
4th November 2015 - Sea World Rescue Team Rehabilitates Dolphin
7th January 2015 - Animal rights campaigners target Sea World dolphins
8th March 2014 - Bindi Irwin criticised for US link with SeaWorld
2nd June 2013 - Sea World Resort launches 2013 Whale Watching Package
20th October 2011 - Sea World founder Keith Williams dies
15th September 2011 - Sea World launches Jet Stunt Extreme
29th March 2010 - Baby Dolphin Thrives at Sea World
7th April 2009 - Sea World Icon receives Industry Excellence Award
3rd January 2008 - Sea World guests dive in with Sharks
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
We are the leading providers of kids fun multi-sports programs for Sport and Recreation Centres. Programs cover twelve common sports as well as Gross Motor Skill Development and suit children from as…read more
ICP is an Australian-based company focused on indoor climbing. ICP will manage your project from initial design to completion and beyond, whether you're building an international-level climbing…read more
Yellowbox is an Australian technology company that has developed smart locker technology operated through an app with a focus on experience for users and facility managers. Found at Beaches, Aquatic…read more
Known as Hydrilla since September 2020 - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/hydrilla-pty-ltdread more
Felton Industries is Australia’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of quality outdoor furniture and has been supplying premium seating solutions for all sporting, commercial, community…read more
As of 2018, TicketServ operates as SeatGeek Asia Pacific Pty Limited, part of international ticketing platform SeatGeek. Click here to contact SeatGeek Asia Pacific via their entry in…read more
TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide. Our…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!