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Seaworld: Pros and Cons of Captivity

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Dominique Mercer

on 25 February 2016

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Transcript of Seaworld: Pros and Cons of Captivity

Seaworld: Pros and Cons of Captivity
-Separation of family members (lack of socialization)
-Lack of space/small enclosures
-Lack of activity=Boredom, frustration, aggression
-Attacks on humans (Tilikum:3 deaths)
-Decreased lifespan in captivity

Cons of Captivity
To apply basic physiological research efforts and state-of-the-art reproductive technologies towards wildlife species management and conservation.

Mission Statement
-Research is performed to gain an understanding of the relationships among reproductive endocrinology, anatomy, behavior and physiological events such as ovulation and parturition.
-Our cooperative management practices enable zoological institutions to maintain maximal genetic diversity and optimal social environments within captive populations
Pros of Captivity
- Educates the public about the beauty of the ocean and its creatures

- Easy access to these animals is a benefit for scientific research that will lead to greater understanding of all orcas.

- difficult to study in the wild

- well taken care of when it comes to food and healthcare
Opened gates for first time (planned to be underwater restaurant)
-Became marine zoological park on 21 acres by Mission Bay in San Diego
-Started with only few dolphins, sea lions, and 2 saltwater aquariums

captured 5 orcas
-Now in Orlando, Fla and San Antonio, TX
-As of

worldwide- 57 captive orcas (22 wild-captured, 35 captive-born)
-30 owned by Seaworld

History of Seaworld
Pros of Captivity Continued
Cons of Captivity Continued
Current Legislation Affecting Seaworld
Blackfish: Public Awareness

Conclusion: Main Points
Which Side is Right?...

You decide

Asper, E. D. and Cornell, L.H. 1977. Live capture statistics for the killer
whale (Orcinus orca) 1961-1976 in California, Washington and British Columbia. Aquatic Mammals, 5(1): 21-26.
History. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2016, from https:/
congress-call-on-usda-to-act-to-protect-captive orcas
Mission Statement Reproductive Research Center | SeaWorld Parks &
Entertainment. (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2016, from https://seaworld.org/en/conservation-and-research/reproductive-research-center/mission-statement/
Wild vs. Captivity. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2016, from https://

Orca Welfare and Safety Act:(Anti-captivity: AB2140)
-Ban entertainment-driven whale captivity
-Retire all current whales
Status: Inactive bill/died

US Congressmen Adam Schiff and Jared Huffman
• Urging USDA to update Animal Welfare Act
• Update Animal Welfare Act for cetacean captivity
• Passed with unanimous bipartisan support
• Allocates 1 million USD to study impacts of captivity on marine mammals
The film (Blackfish) has brought a great deal of attention to the welfare of animals, and for that we are grateful. However, "Blackfish"is not Dawn's story."
-The Brancheau family
Legislation Continued
Coastal Commission: 2015
-Seaworld San Diego
-Move forward with tank expansion
-Cannot use genetic material from wild orcas to breed killer whales in captivity
-Cannot take orcas from the wild
False Bottom Floors: lift whales and trainers to surface in under a minute
-There are 2 sides to every story and every controversial situation
Narrated by former Seaworld Trainers
=potential bias
Accusations About Seaworld:
-Conceal information
-Small enclosure size
-Separation of family members
-Attacks on humans
-Decreased lifespan in captivity
-Steal orcas from the wild
*Anti-captivity message

-Decreased nutritional value from frozen fish (require vitamins)
-Do not get to use hunting skills
-Removal from wild gene pool
-Artificial environment (sterile/lack stimulation)
-Anatomical changes (Dorsal fin folds over in captivity)
- Animals that are bred in captivity will not be able to live on their own
wild or domestic animals that live under human care.
- allows breeding of orcas without taking an orca from the wild
- captivity protects animals from being harmed or hunted for commercial-hunting.
Collision with boats
Habitat pollution
decreased prey from overfishing
- Entertainment from the public brings in money for conservation and research facilities
-Separation from family members
-Small enclosure size
-Lack of activity/stimulation=boredom
-Frozen fish vs fresh meat
-Decreased lifespan
-Removed from an ecosystem
-Education of the public
-Appreciation of nature
-Conservation efforts (money from entertainment)
-Protection from elements of natural environment
-Provided nutrition (eating not determined by food availability)
-Easier to research (learn about wild counterparts/how to protect them)
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