The California Coastal Commission approved SeaWorld’s $100 million proposal to expand their orca whale tank, but under the condition that they will no longer be allowed to breed whales at their San Diego park.   

 

After SeaWorld reported an 84 percent drop in profits in August, the park has been trying to do whatever it can to bring in more customers. The proposed tank expansion is the first big step SeaWorld has made to turn their declining numbers around after August’s report. Newborn whales could draw in a bigger crowd to the park, which is likely one of the reasons Seaworld wanted a bigger tank to begin with. Seaworld has since spoken out against the commission’s decision.       

 

 

In a statement from SeaWorld:

“Breeding is a natural, fundamental and important part of an animal’s life … Depriving a social animal the right to reproduce is inhumane.”

 

SeaWorld’s California location is no longer able to breed orca whales, but the park was still able to get their plan accepted, despite the many animal rights activists that protested the expansion. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) strongly opposed the new tank because they wanted SeaWorld’s whales to be released, rather than having more orcas added to the park. However, the group was happy to hear of the last minute condition added to the plan.    

 

A group of protesters gather at SeaWorld

Animal rights activists protest the living conditions of the animals at SeaWorld parks. (LA Times)

“SeaWorld has admitted that it intended to breed even more orcas to fill the new tanks, but the commission’s action today ensures that no more orcas will be condemned to a non-life of loneliness, deprivation, and misery,” said PETA spokesman Ben Williamson.

 

They may not be allowed to breed any of their 11 orca whales in California, but this rule doesn’t apply to their parks based outside of the state. SeaWorld may decide to fight the commission’s decision in court, and has since stated that they “will carefully review and consider our options.”

 

Should these whales be allowed to breed? Can the new tank help turn profits around? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.