SeaWorld San Diego Banned From Breeding Captive Orcas
In the crusade against SeaWorld, a dangerous concession turned into a major win for activists with a dramatic vote and ruling by the California Coastal Commission.
On Thursday, the group approved a $100 million expansion of the orca holding tanks at SeaWorld San Diego, known at the Blue Project.. However, an attachment was included that banned SeaWorld from further breeding captive killer whales.
The action “ensures that no more orcas will be condemned to a non-life of loneliness, deprivation and misery,” read a statement from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which embraced the decision.
It looks to amount to the beginning of the end for the SeaWorld in San Diego; the 11 orcas will be the last, and the amendment also bans the sale, trade, or transfer of the killer whales. The commission also banned SeaWorld from capturing new whales from the wild, something they say they haven’t done in 30 years.
Those additions are important, because while the ban applies to SeaWorld within California, it does not affect those in other states.
SeaWorld expressed disappointment, countering “Breeding is a natural, fundamental and important part of an animal’s life and depriving a social animal of the right to reproduce is inhumane.” It is not certain what next steps they will take in either accepting the ruling or pushing back.
Should they move forward with the expansion, they would replace a 20-year old facility that includes a 1.7 million gallon pool with a 5.2 million gallon tank and a smaller 450,000 gallon pool, set to open in 2018.
Last week foresaw a decision that would have allowed SeaWorld to expand tanks and likely but not significantly add orcas, after vigorously campaigning to gain public support.