Following growing public criticism of its captive orca shows, SeaWorld has announced that it is to build new, larger pools its theme parks. The announcement also comes after the company’s shares traded near to their lowest point since SeaWorld was listed on the stock market last year.
The release of the 2013 documentary ‘Blackfish’ caused a backlash against SeaWorld and a series of entertainers have pulled out of planned performances at SeaWorld parks. SeaWorld’s long time corporate partner, Southwest Airlines is also to end its relationship with the parks.
‘Blackfish’ addresses SeaWorld’s treatment of the orcas that it holds captive, their violent behaviour and the deaths of trainers. The company said the cost of the project will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars but would not specify the exact budget.
‘Blackfish’ director, Gabriela Cowperthwaite said the changes won’t please the public or improve the lives of its whales. “None of this would change in a bigger pool,” she said. “What people are upset about is that whales are not suitable for captivity.”