It has been a little over a year since the release of the documentary “Blackfish,” which told the story of a SeaWorld trainer’s death caused by orca whale captivity. Since then, millions have watched and witnessed the horror behind the show. Backlash from the film negatively affected SeaWorld’s image as a wholesome, family park, and caused a drop in yearly revenue, as well as the loss of major acts like Willie Nelson and the Bare Naked Ladies.


News has been circulating about SeaWorld’s latest decision to expand Orca tanks, to fund further research on the animals, and help protect marine wildlife. The company claims the decision was not made in response to the “Blackfish” documentary, and have been underway for some time before the film was released. The new tanks will provide the whales with more space to roam, a current to swim against, and other features that will be more stimulating for the intelligent creatures.


Although this may be seen as a positive step for the company, many do not see it as a solution to the problem at hand, which is that orca whales do not belong in captivity. Gabriela Cowperthwaite, director of “Blackfish,” says the larger tanks may not ensure the whales more room to roam, but rather serve as more room for breeding the large whales and help to open more parks world wide.


It is incredible to see how one documentary has moved people enough to heavily impact a company as large and established as SeaWorld. The future success of the park is unknown; will the ripple effect from “Blackfish” continue to impact the company? Will SeaWorld have to close its doors in the near future? Will the park be able to ensure the whale’s health and happiness while still in captivity?


It is unclear if people will ever be able to look at SeaWorld as they did before “Blackfish.” One thing is for sure, people are not happy, and a larger tank is probably not going to change that.


What are your thoughts on SeaWorld’s proposed changes? Will they help to defuse the tension? Let me know in the comments below or find me on Twitter @whatsthesich