Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Morgan Monitor Who filmed The Escape Behavior Provides More First Hand Details about the Orca

This week, controversial video footage gathered by the anonymous "Morgan Monitors" was posted by the DolphinProject and picked up by major news media. The "Monitors" are seeking justice for the young killer whale who was captured & betrayed by the Dutch Dolfinarium Harderwijk and shipped to Loro Parque, in the Canary Islands, Spain, with the help of SeaWorld, from the United States. If that sounds like whale laundering, read THIS


The footage shows Morgan distressed and beaching herself on the stage area at "Orca Ocean," the circus style arena at the theme park. 

The story made global headlines with articles appearing at media sights including PEOPLE, TIME, Mashable, Russian TV, FOX News, the Telegraph, and more. Some headlines were overtly sensational & the responses from Loro Parque and SeaWorld claiming that Morgan was exhibiting "normal behavior" were patently false. 

One video, posted at Sky News, caught the attention of the anonymous "Morgan Monitor" who actually filmed the distressed orca. The video is linked here:

Within hours & via Twitter, the anonymous Morgan Monitor reached out to the former SeaWorld trainer who provided the analysis seen in the video. With permission, this information is being shared, below: 

date:Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 1:06 PM
subject:Regarding Morgan Video

Hi...  I took the footage of Morgan. 
What you said in the interview on Sky news was spot on... 
I wish there was some way I could get it out to the media that this was not a suicide attempt,
but without my identity being exposed... So here is my unpublished blog, which may give you a better idea of what led to her jumping out. 

A visit to Loro Parque 16th May 2016: 
Morgan the female orca has captured the hearts of many around the world. She was spotted swimming alone in waters of the Netherlands. She was extremely underweight but swimming freely. She was captured by a local theme park (Dolfinarium Harderwijk), under a Dutch Government issued ‘rescue, rehabilitation and release’ permit. The theme park failed to fulfill the rehabilitation and release part of the permit.
She was trained and kept in a life of captivity. Morgan now spends her life in Loro Parque on the island of Tenerife. Here she is constantly attacked, and the male [Keto] tries to mate with her.  The Free Morgan Foundation was formed to get Morgan back to her family in Norway. Morgan has suffered a significant injustice most of her life. This visit was to follow up on Morgan after the release of footage of her violently banging her head against the gate of the med pool a few weeks earlier. The last show Morgan made her first appearance of the day. The show arena was not as full as it had been earlier that day. Video footage was taken of the show; the first part of the footage shows a splash and 3 orcas going under the water, It seemed like some kind of scramble or attack by two orcas on the other one (Morgan). 
The following moment Morgan jumped and beached herself onto the concrete. Her breathing was rather shallow; her vocals seemed stressed and sounded as though she was in pain, even more so each time she lifted her head. 
The first part of the video...  shot of her beached lasted over 2 minutes, and the trainers did not attend to her. Most of the audience seemed to think that this was the ending of the show; many took selfies with Morgan suffering in the background. I then decided to video again as Morgan was still in the same position still showing signs of shallow breathing and severe discomfort. Now people were leaving, I moved around taking footage until I had Morgan facing the camera lens. A female trainer stood a few feet away from Morgan just watching the crowd leave. The other 2 orcas were still swimming around in the tank and often just spy hopping at Morgan. A trainer stood by the bridge was asked if Morgan is ok, His reply " Yes she’s fine just like’s to be out of the water” The audience was still leaving and we were eventually all asked to leave. At this point I stopped filming and I glanced back:  Morgan was still in the same position as where the trainers. This had now been over 10 minutes. So all I could do now was make my way to the exit. As I left for the exit, heart pounding, feeling choked up and holding back the tears. 
I had just witnessed the true face of captivity. As much as they are controlled and trained. The only place for these majestic creatures is the ocean with their true family...
Anonymous, Morgan Monitor  

Monday, May 23, 2016

Superpod Five Killer Whale Conference is "The Future"

Updated 6-27-16 with scheduling information at bottom. 

In its fifth incarnation since 2011, Superpod Five kicks off 18 July 2016 in Friday Harbor, on San Juan Island. This year's theme, The Future, will feature presentations and activities that blend the work of our youth leaders with whale watching, updates on research, dams, salmon, & more. 
Click HERE to go to this Friday Harbor website  
A lot has happened with the local killer whale population since #Superpod4, and notably, SeaWorld has announced an end to captive orca breeding. These current events will be popular topics in Friday Harbor and at the San Juan Island Community Theater, our primary terrestrial venue.

Photo series v J. Ventre #Superpod4 

#Superpod5 is the fifth in a series of gatherings, hosted by Voice of the Orcas, open to the public and attended by an international group of scientists, filmmakers, authors, journalists, former trainers, naturalists, & orca advocates. 

Ella van Cleave, Michelle Duncan, , and journalist Melissa Cronin at #Superpod3 on the deck of Headquarters

The official itinerary includes events beginning Monday 18 July through Friday 22 July, but many visitors arrive before the event begins, or depart several days after the event closes. Once arriving in the "San Juans," most folks don't want to leave, and all can understand why orcas prefer the surrounding waters to concrete tanks. The Haro Strait, separating the West side of San Juan Island, from Canada, can be seen in the short video below: 

In general, the ideas & connections made at superpod gatherings have been significant in helping to bring concepts like captivity, dam breaching, & salmon restoration to the public through presentations, documentary films, direct action, social media, and journalists who attend and report on it. Four film crews have attended past gatherings, including for Blackfish, and we're told a fifth crew, another documentary team, will be attending in 2016. 

Below, hear Katie Emmons, one of the event organizers, speaking at the Kodak Theater, Rochester, New York, with Phil Demers in the foreground: 


The Business:

If you have questions about #Superpod5, the event planning committee for 2016 consists of:

Kimberly Ventre @KimberlyVentre
Dr. Lori Marino @Whale_Sanctuary
Carol Ray @carolray_wa
Dr. Jeffrey Ventre @jeffrey_ventre
Katie Emmons @BlueFreedomOrg
Captain Jeff Friedman @orcawild

Kim has secured the community theater, is handling the #Blackfish whale-watch ticket sales on June 1st, and is the lead organizer of Superpod5. The Blackfish trip will be on the "Western Prince II." 

[ SOLD OUT - quickly. Note that there are plenty of other whale watch opportunities & we can direct you to them. 

GO HERE: http://sanjuanislandwhalewatch.com/ or you can also email: jeff@sjiwhalewatch.com

Dr. Marino is speaking at the event and organizing a scholar-advocacy conference on the island. Please read the notice below and contact Dr. Marino if you would like to participate. 

Captain Jeff Friedman & Spencer Domico will be operating three whale watching vessels, The Peregrine, Imagine, and the new "J-1,"  during the event. For questions about getting on a WW boat, please contact Jeff. 

Jeffrey Ventre is organizing the speaking line up, utilizing this blog, Twitter, and direct communications to get people information, such as: 

1. Information about how to get to the island can be found HERE
2. Information about last year's event can be found HERE
3. The history of the event can be found HERE
4. The website for the event (built by Jeff Friedman) is HERE 

Note that you can register for Superpod events at the site. The information is used to estimate how many will be attending & planning venue size.  Also, this event is free & open to all, but there are costs, including rental fees for the community theater, over $2000. In an effort to keep the event free to attendees, there is an option to donate on the http://www.orcasuperpod.com/ website

Carol Ray has secured Superpod5 headquarters, is a potential speaker and is an organizer of the event. Reach out to her for general questions. Carol is one of the cast members of the new documentary, Voiceless. See her in the new official trailer, below: 

Katie Emmons is one of our youth leaders and director of the new documentary, Voiceless, which will be premiering at #Superpod5. You can see Katie interviewing Dr. John Jett for her film HERE 

In this second video, Katie explains what Voiceless is: 

We're excited for #Superpod5 as it will attract folks from distant places who all share a love of killer whales, nature, and conservation, in general. Please use hashtag #Superpod5 as we approach this event. Based on early numbers, it will likely be the most attended superpod yet. We are expecting 300 to 400 attendees. Please return to this space for updates on tickets and the schedule, below: 


SCHEDULE -- Partial  

#Superpod5 Schedule (So far)

Monday July 18
2-4 pm: Meet & Greet at Friday’s Crabhouse
This is a casual get together to greet old friends and make some new ones. Everyone tends to gather on the top deck for a drink or bite to eat.

6:30pm Welcome to Superpod 5 “The Future” San Juan Community Theatre
History of Superpod and the Blackfish Effect
Ex-SeaWorld Trainer/Blackfish Cast Member Dr. Jeffrey Ventre

7:00pm Screening of documentary film Voiceless
Q&A with Voiceless Director and Blue Freedom Founder Katie Emmons

Tuesday July 19  San Juan Community Theatre 9 – 4pm
Scholar Advocacy Day
Presentation times to follow including:
9:00am – Young Adult Novel The Blackfish Prophecy
Rachel Clark, Science & Environment Author

How I Followed My Dreams to Superpod Using Social Media
Mariah Kirby, Biology Student, University of Missouri-St. Louis

To the Sea a film about (re)connection
Ella Van Cleeve, aspiring documentary film maker/advocate

Cetacean Awareness: Using Social Media to Create a Vibrant Community
Michelle Strom, Student/Founder Cetacean Awareness

Every Drop
Roya Paller, Social Worker, Founder/President Generation Change

Scholar Advocacy Roundtable including Dr. Naomi Rose, Dr. Lori Marino, Dr. Jeffrey Ventre

The Whale Sanctuary Project – the Future for Captive Cetaceans
Dr. Lori Marino, neuroscientist
Founder and Executive Director the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy

“I Am Not an Animal!”
Michael Mountain, founding member of The Whale Sanctuary Project Former President of Best Friends Animal Society
Founder EarthinTransition.org

Conservation Canines
Dr. Sam Wasser, Director, Center for Conservation Biology
University of Washington

Wednesday July 20
Whale Watch Wednesday
Spend the morning exploring beautiful San Juan Island. Many Superpod participants are whale watching from shore, kayaks or boats–but the island also has wonderful hiking, biking, shopping and beachcombing. Don’t forget to check out the Whale Museum.

Afternoon – San Juan Community Theater 1:30-4pm

#EmptyTheTanks presentation
Rachel Carbary

Closing the Wild Capture Loophole: Working to Ban the Importation of Wild Cetaceans into Canada
Katherine Sussman, Ph.D

Alphabet Soup: Legislation, Regulation, and Agencies, oh my!
Dr. Naomi Rose, Marine Mammal Protection Advocate and Orca Biologist

Dolphin Project
Lincoln O’Barry

Whale Museum 6:30pm
David Neiwert Of Orcas and Men Presentation and book signing

Thursday July 21 – San Juan Community Theater 9am-5pm

Presentation times to follow including:
The Ecosystem Approach: The Future of Endangered Species Recovery
Colleen Weiler, WDC, Rekos Fellow for Orca Conservation

Dolphin and Whale Brains – More Evidence for Complexity
Dr. Lori Marino, neuroscientist/Founder and Executive Director the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy

Navy Sonar & Marine Mammals: Potential Measures to Mitigate Harmful Effects
Meegan Corcoran, ex-Navy Biologist, University of Washington 

Center for Whale Research 40 years and Counting Shifting Baselines in the Salish Sea
Ken Balcomb, Founder/Executive Director, Center for Whale Research
Dr. Deborah Giles, Research Director, Center for Whale Research

A Captive Orca and Her Natural History

Howard Garrett, Co-Founder Orca Network

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Our Statement Regarding SeaWorld’s announcement to End Captive Orca Breeding

SeaWorld’s announcement to end captive orca breeding is a step in the right direction, for orcas, and we support efforts to phase out all marine mammals from captivity. 

SeaWorld’s partnership with the Humane Society is significant [two former foes pledging to work together] and we hope the company will become a leader in ocean conservation, help to restore salmon runs, and assist the animal justice community in obtaining nonhuman rights for cetaceans. We understand it took courage for CEO Joel Manby to make these changes; Kudos to his leadership. 

It must be pointed out that SeaWorld’s shift is a financial decision and the public itself has made this happen over a several year time span. THANK YOU for not buying a ticket. There are some inaccuracies in the announcement, such as the characterization of Keiko's release effort and no mention of other species still incarcerated at the park. 

We’d like to send love to Tilikum, who continues to languish alone in Orlando, and wish we could comfort him in his final hours. In the end, his message was heard. Thank you, Tilly

Voice of the Orcas: 

John Jett Ph.D. 

Carol Ray M.A. 
Jeffrey Ventre M.D. 
Samantha Berg M.Ac. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

SeaWorld Can Extend Tilikum's Legacy Beyond the Show Pool

For the benefit of science, allow for open & collaborative histological examination of Tilikum's cadaver

To Whom It May Concern:  

Myself, and the other members of VOTO, Samantha Berg, John Jett, and Carol Ray, have been informed that Tilikum, a SeaWorld killer whale in Orlando, is near death. We are saddened by this announcement, although it is not unexpected.  

Tilikum has developed an antibiotic resistant bacterial infection of the lungs, with pneumonia being the leading reported cause of captive killer whale mortality. Efforts to treat Tilikum have failed due to decades of antibiotic and antifungal therapy, medications that three-of-us at VOTO have fed him, and medications he was on in 2010 when he killed Dawn Brancheau, as reported by APHIS, here

Tilikum IS the Blackfish Effect. He changed the world from a small tank at SeaWorld in Orlando. Photo: VOTO 

Tilikum has been getting fed antibiotics consistently for at least two decades, primarily because of his badly damaged teeth, including open bore holes that must be flushed with antiseptic solution 2-3 times daily. These bore holes can lead to fish particles, roe, and other debris getting into the jaw and eventually into his blood stream, causing chronic low grade infection(s), and able to seed various organs, including the lungs. The end result is that, now, Tilikum is filled with bacteria that are resistant to powerful and broad spectrum medications that SeaWorld is dosing him with. 

Tilikum is, at this time, likely suffering from pulmonary edema, or excess fluid in his lungs. When the surface area of his alveoli diminishes sufficiently, he will suffocate in a stretcher, at SeaWorld. In a last ditch effort to obtain air to oxygenate his tissues, he will likely thrash in the stretcher, and go through a period of "death throes," prior to finally passing. This is a particularly dangerous time for the animal care and training staff on hand. 

A crane is reportedly standing by, possibly to recover his body if he should pass. This information is unconfirmed, but it does correspond with SeaWorld's recent announcements seen in this video:

Many citizens, including some in the scientific community, are hopeful that SeaWorld will dedicate Tilikum's cadaver to science. This gesture would advance our understanding of the impact of captivity on marine mammals such as Tilikum. 

Histological samples of dorsal fin collagen would help us understand collagen fibrillogenesis in killer whales, and why dorsal fins collapse in captivity. Kidney tissue samples could help us understand the effects of chronic dehydration on orcas, like Tilikum, who require gelatin as a dietary supplement. Cardiac tissue could be examined for evidence of physical deconditioning. Eye tissue could be used to understand the effects of looking upward toward trainers, a behavior that is probably contributory to early cataract formation in show animals that must look for hand signals from trainers, on stage. Blood tissue can be used to test for elevated titers of viruses such as West Nile, St Louis encephalitis, and other mosquito transmitted "bugs" associated with zoos, but not seen in wild animals. Immunoglobulin levels could provide information on captive orca immunity. Detailed bone and joint examinations could be examined for evidence of various arthritides. DNA testing could help identify Tilikum's natal pod, and so on. 

Take the NFL as an example 

Samples of brain tissue were critical in understanding the newly described condition (seen in NFL players) known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopaty (CTE), and as depicted in the feature film "Concussion," with Will Smith. The NFL was initially resistant to outside scientists performing these studies, but is now helping to fund them. SeaWorld can mimic the NFL, and CEO Joel Manby can get credit for the change, something that might give him some job security.  

Killer whales in captivity are also known to slam their heads on solid objects such as gates and concrete walls, especially adult male killer whales, with Kanduke being a famous example. Tilikum's brain tissue, or perhaps a new MRI, as depicted in Blackfish, could push our understanding of the orca brain forward, a brain four times larger than our own. 
An MRI can be used to scan Tilikum's brain. This has been done once, previously, & was depicted  in Blackfish movie 

SeaWorld has an opportunity to extend Tilikum's legacy beyond the performance pool and to substantiate it's claims of performing relevant science. We are hopeful they will take up this idea for the benefit of science, the public, policy makers, whale lovers, and for future killer whales. 

Thank you, Tilikum, for your sacrifices. Your legacy will live on through us and the millions of people your story has touched.  

Jeffrey Ventre MD
Blackfish cast member
Former trainer at SeaWorld 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Powerful Letters Connect SeaWorld with Taiji Cove & have a Blackfish Movie Twist

The connection between SeaWorld and the brutal drive hunts at Taiji, Japan, has been known for decades. SeaWorld's former Vice-President & head veterinarian, Dr Lanny Cornell, famously told PBS Frontline that, "The drive fishery process is not necessarily an inhumane process."

Two Pseudorca (false killer whales) Teri (L) & Hana (R). It it now known Teri was captured in Taiji, Japan, on 21 Feb 1983

Cornell worked for SeaWorld from 1973 to 1987 and was later hired to be Keiko's veterinarian, an apparently opportunistic move considering his former employer, SeaWorld, continues to smear the Keiko reintroduction; an effort which transported an orca from Mexico to Oregon and finally to the sea, where he lived from 1998 until his death in 2003. 

Keiko gained thousands of pounds after moving to the ocean from Mexico

After Keiko swam to Norway, Dr. Cornell reported, "His physical condition was robust & showed no sign of weight loss."

In a new twist involving Cornell, a paper trail from Kamogawa Sea World to Dr. Cornell at SeaWorld, demonstrates the process of how small cetaceans are moved through Kamogawa to other facilities like SeaWorld:

No. 1 male is Teri, and No. 2 female is Suki who were moved  from Taiji ultimately to San Diego

This letter reinforces that the animals were for SeaWorld, with "Yours Faithfully" as the closing

This diagram was included by SeaWorld in the agreement paperwork  
It also shows, surprisingly, that ex-SeaWorld trainers, including four who appeared in the movie Blackfish, worked directly with drive-hunt-captured whales from Taiji, unknowingly.

This diagram was also shared with Kamogawa Sea World  to show how the false killers would be moved to USA

Like many secrets at the company, the trainers were kept in the dark regarding the brutal collections. Some were told the whales they worked alongside were "rescued." Just today, former trainer Samantha Berg commented:

"Makes me even sicker that I didn't know anything about Taiji or the drive fishery back then... "

As it turns out, Carol Ray, Samantha Berg, Dean Gomersall, and Jeffrey Ventre all worked directly with drive-hunt-whales at the Whale & Dolphin stadium in Orlando in the 1990's. These whales were Teri, Suki, Hana, Yaki & Zori, and all died young. Like belugas & killer whales, pseudorca do poorly in captivity at places like SeaWorld and the Georgia Aquarium. 

Ex trainer Jeffrey Ventre performs with Yaki, a whale captured in a drive hunt 
While the paper trail is new, we can only confirm that Teri & Suki were taken directly by the infamous killer-fishermen at Taiji's cove. We do know that Yaki, Hana & Zori were also drive-fishery-captured, but don't know precisely where they were corralled up & out of the ocean, in Japan. The odds are that it was Taiji, but we don't possess the documentation.

Samantha Berg with Suki, a whale captured at Taiji, Japan in 1983
We wonder how these revelations will effect the dozen or more current trainers at SeaWorld in Orlando that worked with these drive-hunt-whales. This will be disturbing news to them, too.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Unanimous Coastal Commission Ruling Breathes Life into #Blackfish Bill AB2140

Anyone who carefully observes or works for SeaWorld (SW) probably realizes that things with the company are sometimes not what they appear to be. 

SW spends tens of millions, annually, to craft perceptions, win politicians, lobby, & also to tarnish critics. As an aside, imagine how far that money could go toward salmon restorationBut at SW, sending bus-loads of hourly employees to a political event in an attempt to influence optics for the CA Coastal Commission is a good return on investment, usually

Update: SeaWorld sues [read on]

On 8 October 2015 SeaWorld bused hundreds of hourly employees & family to the Long Beach Convention Center to create an illusion; to conflate the fact that only 21% of Americans support orca captivity with the fantasy that captivity has strong & widespread public support. It doesn't, and more & more people are figuring out what it truly means to be "pro-cap."

Dr Ingrid Visser with Actress-Model Pamela Anderson. Both spoke at the hearings. Photo by Kim Ventre 

Long Beach was the site of the California Coastal Commission's (CCC) hearing on SeaWorld's proposed Blue World project (BWP). An expansion that is (or was) intended to boost SeaWorld's captive orca population through natural & artificial insemination methods. The hearing was an historic one in terms of attendance & public engagement. 

SeaWorld's self-titled "mob buses" brought in plenty of support, but employees may have been on the clock because those workers evaporated like California's water supply.  

#EmptyThe.... Chairs! -- Did SeaWorld want to avoid overtime to workers on the clock? 

Maybe SW was being frugal and didn't want to pay its people overtime [we were told they were on the clock] because when the buses departed back to SW headquarters the "mob" was gone.  And despite Commissioner Cox's efforts to cement SeaWorld's legacy at San Diego, the few SeaWorld employees remaining didn't like what they heard. 

2 bad days @ work. You'd think a risky job, like pro football player, would come with union protection. Not @SeaWorld

In a unanimous vote the CCC granted SeaWorld the right to build Blue World, but with a major condition: No more orca breeding 

As reported by The Times of San Diego: 

By a 12-0 vote, the California Coastal Commission blessed the Blue World Project. The decision came at an overflow meeting in the Long Beach Convention Center that saw dozens of passionate speeches, including one by animal-rights activist Pamela Anderson. 
But Commissioner Dayna Bochco of San Francisco... proposed an amendment to prohibit any breeding of orcas, their artificial insemination or their trade or transfer among other parks. Another condition is a cap of 15 whales at the San Diego attraction, which now houses 11. 
Bochco’s amendment to Condition 1 passed 11-1, with only Greg Cox — a San Diego County supervisor — dissenting.

The "no breeding" condition didn't sit well with SeaWorld's leadership. The statement, below, by CEO Joel Manby is ironic considering SeaWorld has traditionally argued that it's animals have no rights. Are Manby's days numbered? 

Treating the whales as property allows for SW to imprison them without considering how the whales feel about that. It also allows the corporation to ship them overseas to places like Loro Parque. There's more... 

Ironic that the "warden" is claiming that captive orcas  have rights 

Blue World is Also a Political Maneuver to Sink AB-2140

On the surface, San Diego makes the least sense for BWP. SeaWorld doesn't own the land; the city does. Construction costs are higher in California v Texas or Orlando. Wouldn't a company with huge debt, like SeaWorld, seek the best deal on such an expensive project? 

The corporate HQ's & highest attended park is Orlando, not San Diego. SW in FL and SW in TX don't need to ask commissioners for approval. The politics, on the surface, favor Orlando & San Antonio as cheaper & easier sites for a 50 ft deep concrete orca tank. So why spend millions to lobby approval for and to construct BWP at Mission Bay, the most expensive site?

Because BWP is about political clout, crushing upcoming legislation, and thus cementing SeaWorld's grasp on captivity inside the USA. California is the world's 8th largest economy, behind #7, Brazil.

Had BWP moved forward, un-amended, San Diego was expected to become the "West Coast puppy mill for killer whales." This would be complimented nicely by SeaWorld's proposed "Worlds largest fish farm" just a few miles from the San Diego park. Granted, the farm is touted to "grow" yellow-fin tuna, but SeaWorld famously does not recognize dietary or cultural differences between ecotypes, and killer whales are known to eat tuna. Look here. Or here

Site of SeaWorld's proposed fish farm, the world's largest;  Just a few miles off the San Diego Coast. 

Additionally, SeaWorld has [already] announced expansion plans to shareholders & wants to increase its killer whale assets for shipments abroad, including to China and Dubai. Thanks to Commissioner Bocho, the "puppy mill" idea has been thwarted, for now. But that's not the end of the story.  

Connecting Blue World (BWP) with AB-2140 

SeaWorld understood that if the Commission green-lighted BWP, politicians would be inclined to vote down Richard Bloom's upcoming Blackfish Bill AB-2140, aka The Orca Welfare & Safety Act. That bill is sponsored by three former SeaWorld killer whale trainers, Carol Ray, John Hargrove and Samantha Berg, and was tabled last year using political maneuvering. SeaWorld was fond of portraying AB-2140 as "dead." Listen to Carol discuss Bloom's proposed legislation, here.

Because BWP is a multi-year, one-hun
dred million dollar project, it would impact dozens or hundreds of potential jobs & businesses around California, and the politicians that represent them. BWP would require construction crews, crane operators, engineers, water quality experts, environmental scientists, architects, employment contracts, and more. It is strongly supported by the San Diego business community & politicians on both sides of the aisle. 

This is because politicians put jobs & economic growth ahead of orca welfare. And SeaWorld knows this. But... 


Not So Fast 

Now, with a unanimous vote by a state agency which is on the record and opposed to captive orca breeding, Richard Bloom's AB-2140 has new life and legs.  Like the recent lunar eclipse, AB-2140 has moved into alignment with the BWP, both would make it illegal for SeaWorld to breed captive killer whales in California. 

And this was immediately apparent to Assemblymember Richard Bloom who went onto social media to express that he's moving forward, now. 

Regarding the BWP in California, its future is uncertain. Some predict that SeaWorld will file a lawsuit vs the CCC. Others predict it will abandon the idea. 

Behind closed doors, here is the conversation, from SeaWorld's perspective:

1) The CCC did not have legal authority to make the decision that it did! We need to sue them -- confirmed. SW will sue. 

2) Do we want 2-3 more years of mostly negative press associated with litigation?

3) Is our tank expansion worth taking to a friendlier site, such as Orlando?

4) Is now the time to accelerate our plans for expansion into China or Dubai where laws make it easier for us to do our business?

SeaWorld's attorney, David Watson, angrily told the panel “the state of California does not have jurisdiction to regulate the management & care of marine mammal collections”

Thanks to Haze Sommer -- Watch Recorded Streams of The Hearings  HERE: 

The Last World by Commissioner Bocho

When you've lost Willie, you've lost America 

In regard to SeaWorld's next move, only time will tell. But one thing's for sure: The captivity industry is struggling in part due to the work of good souls, facts & the Blackfish Effect.

-------------------  From Dodo, Below   ----------------------