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SeaWorld Bogus Critique Of Blackfish

April 14, 2014

Despite insisting that Blackfish is having no impact on its business, SeaWorld continues to invest heavily in a PR counter-attack on Blackfish and the former trainers who appear in the film.

It’s latest minute-by-minute critique of Blackfish was perhaps the most detailed, and most tediously off-base, critique it has issued yet.

Below you will find the Blackfish production team’s rebuttal. What’s notable is that SeaWorld continues to massage and manipulate the facts even as it tries to accuse Blackfish of mis-representing the facts. What’s also notable is that SeaWorld continues to try and distract and divert from the core issues raised in Blackfish about the wisdom and morality of killer whale captivity, without ever directly addressing those issues.

I guess we can keep going round after round on this, but the facts simply are not on SeaWorld’s side. And it seems clear that the public is beginning to understand a very different, more credible, and increasingly troubling version of killer whale captivity than the narrative SeaWorld has been promoting for the past 50 years.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2014 9:03 pm

    Reblogged this on Ocean Advocate.

  2. April 15, 2014 12:11 pm

    FANTASTIC, thanks Tim: Shared this on Cetacean News Network front page

  3. April 15, 2014 6:51 pm

    SW’s overt trajectory of apples v.s. oranges propaganda does frame the debate in a way they hope to maintain. The listening PUBLIC and it’s Assembly-people must continue to hear the truth as you lay it out Tim. A visible spokesperson for SW was the Assemblyman & Committee Member Travis Allen (the surfer from Huntington Beach, CA), who echoed all the stereotypical wonders of SW — his first experience there as a child fermenting his love for the ocean, how inner city kids only have SW and how the SW orca are an acceptable sacrifice to protect the wild orca, etc… I bring up Mr. Allen, as I spoke with him after the hearing and found his naivety possibly sincere. Meaning, he is potentially persuadable. He certainly opened up when I talked about being a ‘water guy’. Anyone interested in filling his mind (office), with facts as noted above should do so. Travis Allen 72nd District, District Office: 17011 Beach Blvd., #1120, Huntington Beach, CA 92647 ph: (714) 843-4966 fax: (714) 843-6375 email:

    Cheers all,

  4. Rob permalink
    April 16, 2014 1:30 pm

    Although it would give the marine mammal park industry one more thing to ridicule and criticize, I think there should be a short film—a computer animation—that explains what a sea pen is and how it could work for captive killer whales.

    The presentation could be visually compelling—detailed—and offer side-by-side comparisons of coastal sea pens to concrete enclosures in an amusement park.

    I’m thinking of the wonderful video on YouTube entitled “What is the cove?” Whoever made “What is the cove?” should make “What is a sea pen?”

  5. Rob permalink
    April 22, 2014 6:36 pm

    “Israel: The Royal Tour” hosted by CBS travel editor, Peter Greenberg with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    A one-hour PBS special offering a look at Israel through the eyes of its prime minister.

    One stop on the tour was Dolphin Reef located at Eilat, in the southern tip of Israel on the Red Sea.

    Peter Greenberg emphasized once or twice—maybe even three times—that the dolphins were wild and free, not captive. On his official website, Greenberg again emphasizes that none of the dolphins in the program were captives.

    The location was beautiful. A helicopter flew over showing an aerial view of a group of dolphins swimming in the ocean. They certainly looked wild and free to me. I saw no barriers or nets or tanks or anything like that. It was convincing.

    So I Googled the Dolphin Reef Eilat and this is what I found:

    ( Diving and snorkeling with dolphins is offered for a fee, as well as a therapy program for special-needs children.

    ( An inventory of 8 dolphins is listed, with names and data on each one. Two came from the wild; six were born in captivity.

    ( “The Truth About Dolphin Reef, Eilat, Israel.” They wrote:

    “Dolphin Reef, Eilat situated in the Red Sea is a captive dolphin facility which claims to offer something unique. It claims to be an ‘ecological site’ where people can ‘observe dolphins in their natural habitat’ and where the dolphins choose to be with people. Sadly, this facility is far from unique. There are many facilities like Dolphin Reef around the world claiming to be unique but each facility has the same fundamental basics – the confinement of several dolphins in a small area totally detached from their natural environment, even if a pen in the sea, where tourists can observe and swim with them.

    One crucial similarity of all of these facilities, and the one which drives them, is revenue.
    A sea pen is still a captive facility. A dolphin which would normally travel hundreds of miles throughout oceans and dive hundreds of feet is, at Dolphin Reef, contained in a shallow bay a tiny fraction of the size of the usual area it would have to explore and hunt.

    Dolphin Reef is not an ‘ecological site’, it is in no way a dolphin’s ‘natural habitat’; it is, plain and simple, a captive dolphin facility. A dolphin’s ‘natural habitat’ extends throughout whole oceans, to the sea bed with live fish to hunt and an endless, diverse environment to explore using their echolocation skills. To call this an ‘ecological site’ is a contradiction. The dolphins at Dolphin Reef are not native to the Red Sea.”

    A TripAdvisor reviewer wrote:

    “The Dolphin reef tries to keep their reef as natural as possible to allow their inhabitants a normal dolphin life. You can swim with the dolphins and even scuba dive with them, but you need to make reservations ahead.”

    Another TripAdvisor reviewer wrote:

    “Dolphin Reef is part beach, part closed-off area with a floating dock and dolphin area. The dolphins used to be free to come and go (which I prefer and thought still happened), but harassment from boaters and tourists put an end to that. There are feedings five times per day and it’s up to the dolphins if they want to show up or not. People can pay to snorkel in the dolphin area.”

    Your thoughts on Dolphin Reef Eilat and Peter Greenberg’s claim that it is not a captive dolphin facility?

    • Scott Leonard permalink
      April 22, 2014 8:39 pm

      Want to look at the bright side, this is an exemplary template and further example of a working sea pen. Make sure folks know SeaWorld could emulate and use with their orca.

  6. April 23, 2014 1:16 pm

    I would like to see some proof (videos or pictures, maybe?) that Sam Berg swam with the orcas. I have a very hard time believing that she actually did, and I have not been able to find any proof.


  1. May Update | cages: a captivity story

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