Saturday, 4 October 2014

Change for US aquariums

Orcas remain a popular attraction at SeaWorld aquariums

After the 2013 documentary film Blackfish brought the world’s attention to the controversy surrounding keeping marine mammals in captivity, many North American aquariums have began to react by scaling back dolphin and whale shows, or eliminating them altogether, while also facing government crackdowns on whale breeding. 

The Vancouver Aquarium has this summer faced a city park board vote to end most whale breeding at the centre, however the aquarium is currently challenging this in court. Baltimore’s National Aquarium stopped using dolphins in its shows in 2012, and announced earlier this year that it is considering creating an ocean retreat for the animals. 

Meanwhile, plans were announced at Clearwater Marine Aquarium for a 2,000-seat amphitheatre, which raised suspicions that it would begin to have dolphins perform there. However the aquarium states that the seating was intended to let people see staff and dolphins interact with one another, and was not for the purpose of watching the animals perform stunts. They have now withdrawn plans to build the theatre, saying that they needed to cut costs. 

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