This morning, PETA submitted official comments to the California Coastal Commission calling on the organization to deny SeaWorld’s proposed Blue World Project—the company’s latest effort to rebrand its widely opposed marine-mammal exhibits. In its comments, PETA points out that the project will make only insignificant changes to the park’s woefully inadequate orca tanks and do nothing more to meet the animals’ complex physical, psychological, and social needs. More than 55,000 people have sent letters to the commission in opposition to the project, and the number continues to grow.
“SeaWorld’s pathetic Blue World Project is a coat of whitewash that hopes to cover up the company’s orca abuse. It won’t help the animals or lure back customers,” says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “PETA is calling on the California Coastal Commission to deny SeaWorld’s permit, because a slightly bigger prison is still a prison, and this one would offer no benefit to the California coast or marine-mammal welfare.”
As PETA points out, SeaWorld’s multimillion-dollar project will only continue to deny the orcas everything that’s natural and important to them. In the wild, these highly intelligent animals share intricate relationships, traverse vast expanses of ocean every day, and work cooperatively to find food. At SeaWorld, they are forced to perform circus-style tricks for food, trapped in incompatible groups in tiny enclosures—which the Blue World Project does virtually nothing to improve—and sometimes even given the drug diazepam to manage their stress-induced aggressive behavior. Since 1971, at least 36 orcas have died at SeaWorld, at an average age of only 13 years.