SeaWorld adds new boat to its Flotilla of Fabrication and it’s NEWS!

A new statistical evaluation by the Associated Press of survival rates of marine mammals in captivity asserts that marine mammals live longer in captivity than in the wild.  While one might be called a heretic for considering a statistical evaluation by a “news” organization to be inferior to one conducted by scientists, readers or viewers of “news” reports should know enough to be skeptical about “glommy” statistics, whether by a news organization, or scientists whose livelihoods depend upon maintaining a captivity industry, or scientists whose job is the welfare and study of wild marine mammals and their habitats.   I am not a statistician, any more than is ABC or the Associated Press, so I’ll leave the statistics dialogue to the scientists.  But it does leave me asking, “Who ees thees Associated Press?”

But perhaps it is appropriate, then, that ABC News then followed the “launch” of the Associated Press’ new-found expertise in marine mammal statistics by a story about SeaWorld launching a new boat in its latest effort to rehabilitate its image.

SeaWorld's latest effort to rehabilitate its image.

SeaWorld’s latest effort to rehabilitate its image.  Okay, I added the quotation marks.  Original photo by ABC News 10.

While I am not an expert in boats either, I do have at least five senses, a brain, a heart and the ability to use all of them in evaluating “news” stories.  It must be big news that SeaWorld is using boats.  Big news that SeaWorld has veterinarians on staff whose job it is to keep captive marine mammals alive, and have had 50 years to perfect their craft.  Big news that SeaWorld is doing rescue.  Big news that SeaWorld now has new boat technology.  Big news?

Else why would the Associated Press and ABC News cover it?

I cannot claim to know, but it certainly begs, on its knees with a mournful plea, the question.

Using the “news” to turn the conversation on the uncertain statistic of life expectancy is tricky, as is a suggestion that medical care should be improved, as if resolving those two issues also resolves the “problem” of captivity for marine mammals . . . as if saying, “If we can make them live longer in captivity than in the wild, we have a right to and we should,” when that is based in an ethical as well as logical fallacy.

That conclusion omits the entirety of the notion that animals have a right to live their birthright, not a plasticized, containerized, medicated, jelloized – that  is, captive – version of it.

What you can do:  Support the efforts across the nation to find a legislative solution to the real ethical problem injected into our culture by marine mammal captivity.  One easy first step is to sign three petitions.

  • Support California orca legislation, the Orca Welfare and Protection Act, by signing the petition at  Over 1.2 million people have already signed.  Add your voice to this groundswell.
  • Support Senator Greg Ball’s effort to ban orca captivity in the state of New York (can be signed by New York residents only).
  • Sign Florida fifth grader, Marissa’s, petition to Senator Mark Rubio to introduce a bill banning captivity.
  • Reach out to your own state leadership and find the ones who are the true advocates for ethics and compassion for animals.  Find the ones who are willing, as are California Assemblyman Richard Bloom and New York State Senator Greg Ball, to request that an industry that has literally banked on our inability to see through the spandex and the splashing to the horrific nature of captivity for marine mammals retire its business model of exploitation.

Because this is worth fighting for.  When SeaWorld ends its current exploitative business model, that will be news.

Celebrate life by working to preserve habitat, not by going to see orcas held in small concrete tanks.  Photo by NOAA.

Celebrate life by working to preserve habitat, not by going to see orcas held in small concrete tanks. Photo by NOAA.


10 responses to “SeaWorld adds new boat to its Flotilla of Fabrication and it’s NEWS!

  1. They’re not being hunted in captivity. More junk science.

  2. Michele bollo

    This is crazy-making. Lunacy.

  3. Actually, if you’re a pragmatist, which I am before anything else, you shouldn’t be worrying too much about the handful of cetaceans in captivity in SeaWorld until we take care of much more pressing emergency issues. Read then come to the same conclusion I have…we should be fighting SeaWorld to expand and make more natural the habitats they house cetaceans in, not shut them down until we have ASSURED that our oceans will remain viable as places for them to live. Then we can talk about cetacean freedom.

    • While I have not heard that proposed for aquariums yet, the zoo “experiment” has moved in this direction. It still does nothing for the ethical implications of keeping animals in captivity for the sake of exploitation.

      We will never ASSURE that our oceans remain viable. We can increase our efforts to limit all sorts of pollution, including noise pollution. We can expand ocean sanctuaries where there is zero tolerance for human activities that threaten their sanctity.

      I appreciate your concern that I might be worried about the wrong things, but I ASSURE you that I am not.

    • Amen MoBrock you make a VERY good point on the continued exploitation of captive animals, Mike, Mo is also 100% right that there is no guarantee our oceans will remain viable.Also, SeaWorld has A LOT more than a “handful” of marine mammals last time I checked as they have 3 parks, 10 Orca alone in California,NOT including other dolphin species, Beluga’s and ALL the others, how is that a handful? it is NOT JUST SeaWorld that needs to rehab and release the ones that can be but all other marine parks as well.

  4. I think it is ludicrous for people to say Sea World has only have a handful of cetaceans in captivity. According to the inventory they have many more than a handful.

    76 Belugas 28 Orcas now being held at Sea World Entertainment Parks in USA including LoroParque.
    In the USA and Canada at 35 different facilities there are now 506 Dolphins in the inventory. Of which 108 were wild caught or as Sea World says “Rescued”.

    Sea World is actively using these boats for propaganda vehicles on their youth targeted audience on Saturday morning TV shows always using that “Rescue” key word to reinforce their propaganda money machine. The last time they rescued a baby dolphin on TV he was given to the US Navy because he was unsuitable for show performances. This boat is nothing more than a money making propaganda machine just like billboards are for politicians. This company is expert at illusions like magicians.

    Please take a look at the captive database for deceased and living cetacean inventories at You will discover that Discovery Cove Sea World has had 41 Forty One Belugas die at Sea World Parks and Entertainment with the last #41 being Ruby on July 3,2014.

    If you happen to be curious about Captive Orca deceased records you will find out that “a handful” of 159 Orcas have not survived the shows at

    Thank You Mo Brock for revealing this new tool for catching wild animals.

  5. Expanding ocean sanctuaries is the way to go. As for Mike’s comment how would you like it if someone in your family was held captive and was held a slave for 50 years, I am sure you would fight for their freedom and not give up on them. Thank you Mo for the latest information. We do appreciate all you do for fighting for cetaceans and our oceans.

  6. It appears SeaWorld ‘rescues/rehabs/releases only animals that do not or can not generate revenue. Those that are ‘revenue generators’ are not released, but rather trained for performing, thus increasing SW’s bottom line. Sad story.

  7. Thank you for another revealing and important article. It’s time to get the cetaceans out of tanks and into sanctuaries or the ocean.

  8. Thank you for this article, and an easy way to share for signatures.

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