CA Coastal Commission Approves SeaWorld Tank Expansion
SeaWorld is one step closer to having bigger tanks and likely more orcas in captivity as the California Coastal Commission has recommended approving the park’s San Diego tank expansion.
The final vote on the $100 million project called ‘Blue World’ will take place on Oct. 8 but the commission’s staff recommended it on Friday with some attached conditions.
One of them would be that SeaWorld doesn’t significantly increase the number of whales in its San Diego park. Another is that the tanks are not to house any orcas removed from the wild after February 2014. Animal activists were quick to point out, however, how the restrictions won’t stop SeaWorld from harming whales as it’s done in the past.
“This is not limiting them in any way. In fact, this would do the opposite,” said Sara Wan, a former commissioner who is now a consultant for the Animal Defense Legal Fund. “They could breed all the orcas they want with this facility and ship them all over the world.”
SeaWorld agreed to the restrictions and claimed that part of ‘Blue World’ will be research into cetaceans that will benefit whales in the wild.
Tens of thousands wrote to the commission concerning the approval of the project but not all of them were for it. Many wrote on behalf of animal rights organizations trying to stop what PETA appropriately called “new window dressings for their orca prison.”
If approved in October, the expanded tanks will open in 2018.
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