What Will Happen to SeaWorld’s Orcas If Captivity is Banned?

Written by on March 14, 2014 in Policy & Ocean Law, Whales & Dolphins

You’ve probably heard by now that California Lawmakers proposed a ban on orcas in captivity. The Orca Welfare and Safety Act was introduced by state Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D–Santa Monica) and, if passed, would make it illegal to keep orcas in captivity, or use them for entertainment purposes. It would also make it illegal to “breed or impregnate an orca in captivity,” and to use artificial insemination.

Orcas performing at SeaWorld San Diego.

Orcas performing at SeaWorld San Diego. Photo credit: San Diego Shooter via photopin cc.

The bill specifies that this does not apply to orcas that are held for rehabilitation or research purposes, but those animals “shall be returned to the wild whenever possible.” If the orca could no longer survive in the wild, it “shall be held in a sea pen that is open to the public and not used for performance or entertainment purposes.”

So far, the bill has overwhelming support online and has already resulted in a drop in stock for SeaWorld.

If the bill becomes law, what will happen to the 10 orcas currently in captivity at SeaWorld San Diego? Death at SeaWorld author David Kirby recently wrote about the possible future of the SeaWorld 10, seven of which were born in captivity and probably wouldn’t survive in the wild.

The SeaWorld 10:

  1. Corky (open ocean)
  2. Ulises (open ocean)
  3. Kasatka (open ocean)
  4. Nakai (sea pen)
  5. Kalia (sea pen)
  6. Makani (sea pen)
  7. Orkid (sea pen)
  8. Ikaika (sea pen)
  9. Keet (sea pen)
  10. Shouka (sea pen)

To learn more:

Copyright © 2014 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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