SeaWorld stocks drop as 'Blackfish' takes its toll
by Jennifer Mishler
Categories: Animals, Causes.
Photo: Irina Silvestrova /

Rave reviews continue to pour in for “Blackfish,” which has reached a larger and larger audience as it continues to air on CNN. The documentary has not only slammed SeaWorld’s treatment of both animals and trainers, but has caused the public to consider the question of whether or not whales should be in captivity at all.

Though SeaWorld has blamed “bad weather” for a drop in attendance at its parks, it’s pretty clear that “Blackfish” is taking a toll, something that SeaWorld knew might happen. Before going public, the company warned of risk factors as awareness grows, writing:

“An accident or an injury at any of our theme parks or at theme parks operated by competitors, particularly an accident or an injury involving the safety of guests and employees, that receives media attention, is the topic of a book, film, documentary or is otherwise the subject of public discussions, may harm our brands or reputation, cause a loss of consumer confidence in the Company, reduce attendance at our theme parks and negatively impact our results of operations. Such incidents have occurred in the past and may occur in the future. In addition, other types of adverse publicity concerning our business or the theme park industry generally could harm our brands, reputation and results of operations. The considerable expansion in the use of social media over recent years has compounded the impact of negative publicity.”

Even SeaWorld execs seem to know that the company just might be sinking, as director David D’Alessandro recently sold $1.3 million worth of his SeaWorld stocks. Speaking of their stocks, they are dropping. According to MarketWatch, SeaWorld shares are down 25% from highs this year, and sales for the quarter which ended June 30th were $255 million compared to $259 million in the same quarter last year. As SeaWorld points out, this was before “Blackfish” reached a huge audience, but the film was already raising concerns and there has also been damage done by David Kirby’s book, “Death At SeaWorld.

It seems like people are not buying SeaWorld’s accusations that “Blackfish” is all lies and hype. SeaWorld refused to appear in the film, which reveals damning footage and reports from ex-trainers.

If you have yet to see “Blackfish,” it continues to air on CNN and will air next tonight at 9pm ET. Set those DVRs!


About Jennifer Mishler

Jennifer Mishler is a writer, and a vegan and animal activist. When she's not writing, you can often find her volunteering or advocating for animal, environmental and human rights causes. Along with writing for Ecorazzi, she has contributed writing for nonprofits like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and enjoys blogging. She resides in the Washington, DC area (and loves all the vegan food it has to offer). Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennygonevegan.

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  • Fred Belliveau

    Watched Blackfish last week, may tape it this week. We have been to Seaworld twice and won’t go back as long as they have whales in captivity.

  • Shelley Frost

    You cannot compartmentalize species of captive wild animals used for entertainment. Whales are just ONE of many wild animals used and abused by humans to make money. All animals used for entertainment need the reprieve that whales are finally receiving.

  • Nunya Bizzness

    Good. I’m glad they’re stock has plummeted! These animals aren’t trying to hurt people. They’re trying to say “get me the hell outta this damn place!” Don’t get me wrong…I’m sorry some people have lost their lives and/or limbs doing what they “loved” but let it be a learning experience. They want out. How would y’all like to be couped up in a place that’s the equivalent of an above ground swimming pool for your ENTIRE LIFE and have people ride on your back and throw you a cracker only if you “did it right”? Quite sad, really.