A Sea of Green Whales are some of the ocean’s most fascinating amphibious beings. They possess highly acquired communication skills and are believed to have an intelligence level equal to, and in some species, surpass that of the human brain. The biological, anthropological, and marine educational communities have studied the whale in a way that sheds light onto the studies of evolution as well. Yet, there are industries that subject these animals to captivity, hindering the natural development of these animals. Of all the communities contributing to the protection and study of the whale, there is one tipping the scale towards exploiting it for profit: The entertainment industry. Above the zoos and aquariums, who are just as guilty of exploiting animals for business, is SeaWorld. Since its inception in 1964, SeaWorld has been able to create a public image to the American general public that they treasure the protection of amphibious mammals like seals, otters and above all else, whales. The marine-mammal-themed amusement park has attracted millions of customers worldwide to see the likes of Shamu and Tilikum. What SeaWorld refuses to admit to the public and organizations like the Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA), are inadequate living conditions for the animals, disturbing truths in the cooperation’s breeding practices, and how entertainment value is above all else. Although the extinction of the whale is a foreseeable consequence without proper protection, SeaWorld is contributing more to the problem than any amount of money they give to ORCA and other organizations.
SeaWorld is a deterrent to the whale’s natural development. Truthfully, the whales’ longevity is shorter in captivity, they are affected psychologically and are merely entities for a tainted business model in SeaWorld. The way in which SeaWorld conducts business must be changed. Fixing the issues comes with a renewal in their business model and ethics, with severe punishment or termination of the cooperation as a result of breaking these foreseeable agreements. There are three factors affecting the lively hood of the whale that SeaWorld tends to minimize as irrelevant or falsities. Living conditions for the whale are not up to par for what is required even for the smallest of orca calves. Due to the small living constraints, animals feel claustrophobic resulting in mental health side effects such as psychological trauma. These living conditions also play a factor in captive whales’ life expectancies. Finally, SeaWorld’s public image of the business is to prevent the practice of whaling, creating a scapegoat by claiming they do not endorse its activities. However, SeaWorld also requires healthy, big whales sustainable for a number of decades. SeaWorld’s solution is to have a continuous supply of reproduction through insemination and inter breeding with other parks outside of their San Antonio, San Diego and Orlando locations. Since the release of CNN documentary Blackfish, much has been said about the life expectancy statistics informed to the general public by SeaWorld parks, claiming an average life expectancy for all whales from 20-30 years. According to several studies published in scientific journals, average mortality rates for captive whales are three times higher than in the wild (Parsons). Based on 14 years of American and Canadian research, Olesiuk et al. 1990 concludes “females mean life expectancy is 50.2 years with a maximum longevity of about 80-90 years…Males have a mean life expectancy of 29.2 years and have a maximum longevity of about 50-60 years.”
SeaWorld continually leans on the long lifespans of Corky II, Kiska and Lolita for support in their information while also claiming a longer life in captivity due to prevention of danger and a plentiful diet. Yet, in a span from the mid-80s to late-90s, the average age at the time of death for thirteen deceased whales were