SeaWorld’s Profits Flop like the Drooping Dorsal Fins of Captive Orca

Some predicted that the impact of the ‘Blackfish Effect’ would soon pass, but it seems that public disaffection with SeaWorld continues and is beginning to really bite where it hurts – the bottom line.

The company’s latest Financial Report, released on the 6th August, reveals that net income in the second quarter dropped from $37.4m in 2014 to $5.8m in 2015, a staggering decline of 84%.

It seems the troubled captive animal entertainment company just can’t shake off the bad news:

  • Attendance is down by more than 100,000 compared to last year.
  • SeaWorld shares have lost more than half of their market value on Wall Street since the 2013 release of the film Blackfish.

Announcing dismal half year results, SeaWorld CEO, Joel Manby, was forced to admit that the company is still struggling to convince the public that it treats its whales well. He did, however, sketch out SeaWorld’s vision of the future, with further details to be announced at an event on 6 November 2015.

Known future SeaWorld projects include plans for a new captive shark exhibition in SeaWorld Orlando, a “naturalistic”, captive swim-with-dolphin experience at SeaWorld San Antonio and, of course, the Blue World project, which seeks to increase the size of the orca tanks at SeaWorld San Diego.

Despite these plans, The Born Free Foundation is adamant that orca, as well as all dolphin and whale species, do not fare well in captivity and, no matter the size of the tank, captive public display facilities are not appropriate environments for these animals.

SeaWorld may continue to try and persuade the public that they can successfully keep orca in captivity but you only need to compare the vast difference in the space and complexity of the natural marine environment with existing or proposed captive facilities to conclude that SeaWorld have not fully understood the reason millions of people increasingly object to the continued exploitation of sentient, socially complex, highly intelligent species for entertainment and commercial gain. Bigger tanks are not the answer!

I believe that SeaWorld must either take this opportunity to fundamentally rethink its priorities and align its vision with the public’s desire to support the protection and conservation of wild, free-living marine species – or it will continue to sink like a stone.

Either way, the Blackfish Effect will triumph.

Blogging off


7 Responses to “SeaWorld’s Profits Flop like the Drooping Dorsal Fins of Captive Orca”

  1. Alison Jermy Says:

    I agree totally, they all should be free, what right do we have to take them & use them for entertainment- truly sickening.

  2. Dee Barrow Says:

    Get in the real world and stop all animals in captivity

  3. liza marie Says:

    Los Animales nacieron para ser libres;vivir en su hábitat.No son juguetes.No estoy de acuerdo en que se los use como entretenimiento.Ellos sufren,ya que tienen igual o mas sentimientos que muchos humanos.

  4. Christine Robinson Says:

    Hi.Will,I’m a Born Free member,adopter and one of your activators,I totally agree, big tanks are nowhere near enough and them still planning a swim with Dolphins!! :( no no no, all marine mammals belong to one place only and that’s the seas where they belong with their family pods.
    Well done for all you and your Mum and all at Born Free for the wonderful job you all do.
    I’m with you all and always will be to see the end hopefully one day of animal cruelty and exploitation.

  5. Lynne Says:

    I don’t understand why the protest is only against sea world. When you protest their captivity practices I have not seen your protests against all aquariums, zoos, and people keeping non domesticated animals in captivity. Just trying to figure out what others are doing that is OK that sea world I’d not doing. Or is it your intention to point out the errors of all but are just going to do it 1 at a time.
    I’m trying to figure out your point of view when I only see news about your ideas about sea world. Is the news just ignoring your other focuses so I do not know about thrm?

  6. Donna Mackenzie Says:

    A tank is a tank no matter what size it is. Long may the Blackfish effect continue and finally put an end to these water prisons.

  7. DS Says:

    Captive orca and dolphins are not just being displayed, they’re being used to entertain like a circus. This puts not only the animals but the trainers at risk, for as we’ve seen bigger and bolder spectacle is required to keep the audience entertained. And an animal that can swim 100 miles a day and can dive as deep as 500 feet in a single dive, just cannot be living a healthy life in a concrete tank 50 feet deep. Go and see these animals languish motionless at the surface of the pool, then see them in the wild. The difference is staggering.
    Unlike zoos, SeaWorld is also not making an effort to conserve these populations in the wild. Their breeding practices are producing hybrids solely for entertainment. The time for this type of exploitation is over. We need to evolve beyond this.