The critically acclaimed movie of 2013 “Blackfish” sought to highlight the real conditions behind the infamous SeaWorld killer whale displays across America, and indeed around the world. The movie exposed dark truths around the real nature of the Orca, which, incidentally, literally translates as Whale killer, not Killer whale. The backlash for SeaWorld has been huge and the 11 parks across the country have suffered huge losses and falling visitor numbers. Even One Direction’s Harry Styles urged concertgoers to boycott the parks.
The Today programme hosted Chris Butler-Stroud to say that these rules weren’t enough. Finally though, this week SeaWorld has announced its plan to phase out killer whale displays, the first of the parks to do this will be San Diego, and the last show will be in 2017.
Economics applicants may wish to look at how a film could make such a giant institution halve its share price in just two years. Geography applicants could take time to understand the impact of releasing these animals, and indeed how breeding will have affected the well being of these animals, as well as the human element behind these parks existing.
Politics or PPE applicants may want to examine the involvement of the US government here and whether responses have been harsh or swift enough. Biology applicants could take a look at how marine wildlife is affected by the removal of these animals from their natural habitat, or indeed how captivity forced the whales into harming their respective trainers.