Some new legislation that is being proposed by a California lawmaker may have serious implications on SeaWorld, the recently dubbed "abusement park," which has had a great deal of light shed on its practices in the past year, following the release of the documentary Blackfish.
Supporters of the documentary, and animal rights activists around the world may have just had a huge victory after the recent announcement from Richard Bloom, a member of the democratic state assembly.
Like many others around the world, Bloom was exposed to the horrors that exist at SeaWorld, and the dangers that the orca whales face while living their lives in captivity because of Blackfish.
Following his viewing, Bloom felt that he needed to do something about it, and with his position, he is able to draft legislation that can make a difference for the whales.
In a written statement prior to a press conference at the Santa Monica Pier, Richard Bloom said "These beautiful creatures are much too large, and far too intelligent to be confined in small, concrete pens for their entire lives. It is time to end the practice of keeping orcas captive for human amusement.”
The end may finally be in sight for the once popular theme park, and since last year, many people have begun to avoid and boycott the park. The bill would effectively end all performances by killer whales at California entertainment parks, which of course applies only to SeaWorld in San Diego.
If the bill is able to pass in California, perhaps it would have a spiraling effect that would eventually make it to SeaWorld's locations in Orlando, and in other parts of the world. Another significant part of that bill states that it would also ban captive breeding programs involving orcas, and prohibit importing, and exporting orcas.
The amusement park that continues to hold orcas in captivity, forcing them to perform for people, has also made big headlines for a recent partnership with Bindi Irwin, Steven Irwin's daugther, who will serve as a youth ambassador for the organization. She received heavy criticism from PETA and other animal rights groups, and has been urged not to continue with the partnership.
SeaWorld has been a hot topic of controversy since Blackfish's release, and despite the compelling evidence that the film presents, the amusement park continues to assert that it is all propaganda, and that they do not engage in the practices that they are accused of.
Richard Bloom is set to introduce the Orca Welfare and Safety Act, and will look to make a huge difference for whales that are being held in captivity. Violators of the proposed act, if passed, would face a fine up to $100,000 and/or six months in a county jail.
The act likely has SeaWorld frightened, and will be presented at a press conference on Friday. Richard Bloom will present the act along with Dr. Naomi Rose, marine mammal scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute, Blackfish director Gabriela Cowperthwaite, and former SeaWorld trainers Carol Ray and John Hargrove.
50 years of SeaWorld making billions off the torture of orcas. It's time to stop the breeding programs & start RESCUE, REHAB & RELEASE
— Red Letter Day (@DolphinFreedom) March 7, 2014
— PETA (@peta) March 6, 2014
Image via Wikimedia Commons