The park’s popularity has plummeted since the release of 2013’s Blackfish
Since the release of 2013’s harrowing Blackfish documentary, Seaworld has been struggling. The marine theme park has seen sharp drops in attendance, an 84% drop in profit and half its market value evaporate – yet it's still refused to put an end to its heartless and disturbing animal treatment. Until now.
After years of public outcry, it seems like protesters are finally getting their wish granted. Joel Manby, Seaworld's chief executive, revealed yesterday that he has listened to guest's criticism, and would be ending San Diego’s “theatrical killer whale experience” by the end of 2016.
“We are listening to our guests, evolving as a company, we are always changing,” the executive spouted. “People love companies that have a purpose, even for-profit companies. Just look at WholeFoods … I don’t see any reason why SeaWorld can’t be one of those brands.”
Instead, he claimed that the company would be bringing in “an all new orca experience” that would focus on the whale’s “natural environment”. So, hopefully, that means putting them back in the ocean. Or watching them play in the ocean from a distance. Because, you know, the OCEAN is their natural environment, Manby. PUT THEM BACK IN IT, MANBY.
Unfortunately, the performances will still continue at the company’s other parks in Texas, Orlando and San Antonio – for the moment. It's an admittedly tiny step, but at least it's a step of some description.
“The decision by SeaWorld to phase out killer whale shows in San Diego is a welcome step along the path towards ending the captivity of these magnificent creatures,” congressman Adam Schiff said after Manby's announcement. “Much more needs to be done, however, and I would urge the company to curtail the breeding of their orcas and partner in the creation of ocean sanctuaries.”
“The fact still remains that as long as SeaWorld holds orcas in captivity, the physical and psychological problems associated with their captivity will persist.”