However, they may as well have read, "SeaWorld completely misses the point." As David Perle, spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) responded to the news, "A bigger prison is still a prison."
Perhaps the most concerning aspect of these revelations is that instead of cutting its losses or downscaling aspects of its operations in light of a change in public opinion, SeaWorld are expanding.
The expansion represents an emblematic, aesthetic change instead of any real transformation. Blue World Project is a superficial gesture, to say the least. It also makes any possibility of authentic, positive change seem further out of reach. As Blackfish director Gabriela Cowperthwaite argues in relation to SeaWorld, "the problem is, instead of changing their business model, they're doubling down."
The unwillingness to alter an archaic business model also means SeaWorld will be able to increase, or at least maintain, their captive breeding programs. Cowperthwaite makes the conjecture, "it seems pretty clear that the new pool size is designed to accommodate more captive whales and more forcible breeding."