32 min read

Awesome Ocean v Actual Facts. Decide the truth for yourself.

Once again Awesome Ocean write a piece trying to avoid the facts of why people actually DO protest Seaworld.

People have protested orca captivity since it began, the things that have happened in those tanks over the years have only strengthened peoples resolve to finally bring this to an end and get those captive orcas out of there.

Luckily this piece from Awesome Ocean enables all the factual information to be added in from places like NOAA so people can actually check out the information themselves. NOAA, Courts, Government Agencies have no agenda and are neither one side or the other, but they do hold FACTS which prove which side is trying to mislead the public.

Is it Seaworld who at the end of the day are trying to protest their financial interests or those Awesome Ocean call Keyboard Warriors and Animal Activists?

I will just add in the information from neither Seaworld, Blackfish or PETA as Awesome Ocean seem so obsessed with them so you can see and check both sides of the story and you can decide for yourself.

The original Awesome Ocean article will be in Itallic

Why Condemning SeaWorld Is A Really Bad Idea

Keyboard warriors and animal activists alike have been jumping on the SeaWorld bandwagon for a while now and attempting to convert ordinary people to support their cause with as little validated, balanced information as possible.

Once again the name calling starts from the first few words, whatever Erin chooses to call anyone doesn't make the slightest bit of difference, the only difference maker is the FACTS. I could be called an activist, and many who think the same as I do are trying to ''convert'' no one, they are only trying to provide links to factual evidence so you can see the truth for yourself so I will continue to do just that.

In some cases, this has been successful, especially when said activists conceal their true radical agenda within the guise of "progressive animal welfare."

I notice again here there is no link or evidence to show what Erin thinks the 'true radical agenda' actually is, it is just something that has been used over and over as a distraction technique to draw people away from the evidence showing that those wanting those orcas out of the tanks are not actually lying about anything.

The freedom of information act allowed many people to request and access files that Seaworld had locked away for a long time. Ordinary people can access court transcripts, citations, animal profiles and autopsy and necropsy reports so nothing remains hidden any more.

However, as we see through the actions of PETA in the case of Maya or the Blackfish crew's misguided support of sea pens, the agenda drives much deeper then simply "free the orcas."

Again to put links to your own rantings is not really proving anything to anyone, the only way to do that is to produce FACTUAL evidence, from unbiased sources, so people can then again make up their own minds based on the actual documents.

Although PETA really have nothing to do with the things that have happened in Seaworld tanks, I will still answer to the above. For what ever reason Erin McKinney, Eric Davis and Seaworld have a fixation with PETA trying to mislead people that everyone who opposes Seaworld must be part of PETA.

They are very very wrong, but whilst PETA still have a kill policy, which many of those who want the orcas out of the tanks also protest, it provides the distraction from what Seaworld have actually done to many people.

The link to Maya's story is HERE and a quick check through PETA's social media accounts will show you that there are far more activists protesting about Maya than there are actual Seaworld supporters. I have written on both and emailed them telling them that they really need to explain what went on here, how come they were there in the first place, and as taking a basket of fruit seemed like an apology, they need to explain themselves to the family to help that poor girl get some closure.

CC Tragically Sad @godsake2 Nov 25

.@peta Please give this girl some closure and tell people what happened here. Why was she euthanised so fast? http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/local/virginia/2014/11/24/peta-protest-accomac/19483803/ ...

I was also argued with on there, and by Eric on twitter, strange though but I didn't see any direct contact with PETA from either Erin or Eric, which seeing as they are supposed to be so outraged you would think there would be wouldn't you?

You're actually supporting hate campaigns on a whole lot of other good stuff, without even knowing it.

Well as I said at the beginning we will see and more importantly let everyone else see too.

Here's what you're effectively condemning if you're one of the many misguided souls who thinks "SeaWorld should close:"

This is really not true at all as we will see below 1: The largest rescue and rehabilitation program in the world SeaWorld self-funds the largest marine animal rescue and rehabilitation program on the planet, with 24,000 successful animal rescues ranging from sea turtles to dolphins to pinnipeds to birds and more.

Seaworld DOES NOT and NEVER HAS self funded their rescues.

As you can see from the screen shot below, had it not been for the Prescott fund grant which funds the majority of the rescue organisations, Seaworld lacked basic supplies and equipment to respond to live animals, had no capacity for archiving and lacked capacity to process valuable samples. How can that be if Seaworld has been there for 50 years and self funds ''the largest marine animal rescue and rehabilitation program on the planet''??

The link to the screenshot above can be seen on NOAA's website page 20 here

They receive another $99,996 here

They received another $99,964 here

It doesn't matter where the money comes from to help the rescuers, but as you see from the links many other organisations are also in the NOAA stranding team who openly advertise the fact that the grants have helped them. Why is Seaworld the only one in that group who do as Erin has just shown above and lie to people saying that they are totally self funding??

If that was the case wouldn't they have bought their own boat, freezer etc and said give the grant to a rescue facility that need it more?

As for research and to show a comparison. The Marine Mammal Center

Their mission says ''Our core work is the rescue and rehabilitation of sick and injured marine mammals, supported by state-of-the-art animal care and research facilities, a corps of dedicated volunteers, and an engaged community.'' They rescue the same animals as Seaworld, they have no captive orcas stating they need them to fund the rescues, and they have out researched Seaworld hands down

Their science publications are here

As a comparison to Seaworld's research documents The marine mammal center has papers for Evidence for a genetic basis of urogenital carcinoma in the wild California sea lion.

Use of cellulose filter paper to quantify whole-blood mercury in two marine mammals: validation study.

Spatial and temporal analysis of killer whale (Orcinus orca) strandings in the North Pacific Ocean and the benefits of a coordinated stranding response protocol.

Criteria and case definitions for serious injury and death of pinnepeds and cetaceans caused by anthropogenic trauma.

These are just 4 of many which can all be seen and investigated here to give an example of research that does actually benefit the marine mammals in the wild.

In comparison I already broke down some of Seaworld's research publications on my blog previously, you can see that here

But to show the comparison some are here St. Leger J, Wu G, Anderson M, Dalton L, Nilson E, Wang D: West Nile Virus Infection in Killer Whale, Texas, USA, 2007. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011;17(8):1531-1533.

Robeck, T.R., S.A. Gearhart, K.J. Steinman, E. Katsumata, J.D. Loureiro, J.K. O'Brien: In vitro sperm characterization and development of a sperm cryopreservation method using directional solidification in the killer whale (Orcinus orca). Theriogenology. 2011;76:267-279.

Sigurjónsson, J., and S. Leatherwood: The Icelandic live-capture fishery for killer whales, 1976 – 1988. Rit Fiskideilder. 1988;11:307-316.

Robeck, T.R., K. J. Steinman, S. Gearhart, T.R. Reidarson, J.F. McBain , and S. L. Monfort: Reproductive Physiology and Development of Artificial Insemination Technology in Killer Whales (Orcinus orca). Biology of Reproduction. 2004;71, 650-660.

As you will see from the link above I already explained some of these research papers, but you can type them into google yourself to view them in their entirely for those who are not linked. How to identify and capture whales, studying diseases that have killed the captive orcas after the event and AI research does nothing to help the wild populations at all.

This program operates under the supervision of federal and state governments again another link to Awesome oceans own page and abides by all levels of regulation regarding what animals can and cannot be reintroduced into the wild (read: not the orcas). Do Read this link as it isn't not the orcas, it is NOAA's STANDARDS FOR RELEASE. Which highlights exactly what the problem is here. NOAA's standards for release are not called 'not the orcas'.

Attacks on SeaWorld ignore the fundamental fact that the structure of SeaWorld parks is integrated with the rescue and rehabilitation program, and that level of funding and infrastructure is only possible under the greater system of the company.

Basically: close the parks, stop the rescues. Unless you've got several hundred thousand dollars lying around to fund them yourself... this again is fabrication to try to influence people to support Seaworld through guilt.

As you can see from NOAA's website this is actually not true at all. Rescues are a recent event in Seaworld's history as you can see from the screen shot above which is dated 2001-2010, and states very clearly that prior to that Seaworld had no rescue programme. You also need to add into that, the manatee and sea turtle rescues which are funded separately also by government agencies.

As NOAA and the NMFS co ordinate the rescues, should there come a time when there is NO Seaworld, they would not leave the animals stranded or in need of rescue as it is them who co ordinate who goes where not Seaworld.

As for ALL the comments above stating that the agenda people who want those orcas out of there have is to close Seaworld down completely, this again is total fabrication from the likes of Erin, Eric and Seaworld as scientific evidence has been put forward to Seaworld many many times and no one has said close it down not even PETA who they like to use as an example so often. See below PETA's website says

Please take a moment to ask SeaWorld to immediately set in place a firm and rapid plan to release the animals to sanctuaries that can provide them with a more natural environment.

Naomi Rose put forward a win win Situation to Seaworld which states ''These facilities can work with experts around the world to create sanctuaries where captive orcas can be rehabilitated and retired. These sanctuaries would be sea pens or netted-off bays or coves, in temperate to cold water natural habitat. They would offer the animals respite from performing and the constant exposure to a parade of strangers (an entirely unnatural situation for a species whose social groupings are based on family ties and stability -- "strangers" essentially do not exist in orca society). Incompatible animals would not be forced to cohabit the same enclosures and family groups would be preserved.'' AB2140 also does NOT ask for the orcas to be freed into the open ocean. There are many links here together for you to check through to prove that too.

So as you see the statements above from Awesome Ocean are also part of Seaworld propaganda as they are simply not true and can be proven to be untrue, by doing a little research no one has asked for Seaworld to close no matter what they have you believe.

Things like this are perfectly within Seaworld's capabilities, it is more educational as people would get to see orcas behaving as orcas, as no where in the wild does anyone see orcas with their mouths wide open begging for dead fish. They would also have the best of both worlds, they would get to feel the ocean, catch their own fish, swim in their matraline groups and have the trainers there as care takers for husbandry.

Seaworld have the room at the San Diego park and it is probably already set up for netting as they used to hold dolphin shows out there. If they did something like this their profits would increase, their respect and regard would increase too as those protesting outside would then be inside visiting those orcas.

As you can see below Seaworld San Diego has the perfect place for them, wouldn't this be better for them and those orcas?

Wouldn't this be a better alternative giving them the space to escape altercations with other orcas?

Wouldn't this be better for those orcas, more space to explore, using their echo location, swimming in their family matraline which have been separated across the parks?

Wouldn't this be a much better use for the hundreds of millions they say they have to spend building new tanks?

From here they could live as near as natural as possible and be the orcas they were born to be, not the entertainers you see today.

2: Millions of dollars in conservation funding annually SeaWorld operates two not-for-profits. One is the SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, which donates millions to land and sea conservation programs all over the world.

WDC explain the Conservation Fund spending much better than I can, take a look here

They concluded - This therefore leaves only US$76,588 directly attributable to monies spent focusing on "wild" whales and dolphins. And that works out at 14% of the total spent on whales and dolphins and a mere 0.88% of the total spent on ALL their projects.

That includes wild orcas.

As yet when Seaworld launched their blue world project they stated As part of the project's vision, we have also committed $10 million in matching funds focused on threats to killer whales in the wild, especially those identified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration related to the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale.

To date none of that money has been forthcoming.

The Center for Whale Research has been working with the Southern Residents for years. Ken Balcomb is a world renowned wild killer whale expert, working with NOAA If Seaworld truly want to help the Southern Residents wouldn't you think it would be advisable to work with or donate to someone like him, who has been studying them for 37 years?

Sadly as Ken was interviewed for Blackfish, purely because of his expertise, and has given statements saying Given the natural differences among killer whales, breeding them at parks is contentious.

"SeaWorld states it's saving an endangered species, but that's bogus," Ken Balcomb, senior scientist at the Center for Whale Research, says. "They make up stories about their lifestyle, social structure, and life span and try to sell it as fact. It's like Disneyland telling a mouse biologist the way it is. It's horseshit."

Seaworld attacked these experts calling them too as being radical animal activists.

Stating The film also relies on animal rights activists masquerading as scientists: The film relies heavily on the dubious reflections of scientists who have aggressively campaigned against marine mammal display for decades, and have no expertise with killer whale behavior in captivity.

I also looked into that and you can see the evidence of their scientific abilities here

In the meantime Ken Balcomb continued working and fighting for the Southern Residents.

Awesome Ocean couldn't resist sickeningly using the death of Southern Resident J32 Rhapsody to also try to boost Seaworld attendance in their recent article.

There are some bridges no one crosses, but please do read it as one again the death of that poor first time mother in labour and the bullying of Ellen Ericksen have once again been rolled into one article.

Calling people names, trying to discredit them and misleading the public does nothing for the campaigns of either Seaworld or Awesome Ocean.

The initial opening of ''Keyboard Warriors'' is a bit rich coming from people who write Awesome Ocean, Stand with Seaworld, Seaworld podcast, I love Seaworld, Micechat, etc. How much time away from a keyboard do they have?

Bullying seems to be common place and many do jump on that bandwagon with them, but that does nothing for Seaworld and certainly does nothing for the wild marine mammals.

I have in the past debunked so many articles and supplied the facts via links to external sites, so people can look at the evidence themselves and make up their own minds.

I wouldn't expect anyone to blindly follow anything without giving them the tools to look into things for themselves. Nor do people on this side of the fence use diverting tactics, they just stay focused on the evidence, unlike these articles below which I again debunked.

Awesome ocean attack Melissa Cronin

Awesome Ocean attack Ellen Ericksen

Awesome Ocean attack Ric O'Barry

Attack on the scholastic news

Awesome Ocean attacking a 10 year old girl

There are many many more articles here which show why people protest Seaworld, 45 dead orcas

numerous trainer/orca incidents

4 dead people

hybrid breeding in the tanks

mothers separated from their offspring

Pathogens, bacterias and fungus in the tanks killing the orcas

Orcas pregnant at 6 years old

Although these also link back to my own blog posts, the external links you need to check the information for yourself are all on there for you.

Some external links.

Science against orca captivity

Ethics of keeping killer whales in captivity has been debated since 1970

Captivity is wrong

How and why captivity harms cetaceans

The diversionary tactics, name calling and lies to mislead people is getting to ridiculous levels now from Awesome Ocean. Maybe they are unaware of the facts themselves, maybe it is deliberate, only they themselves know.

This sort of behavior does nothing to help either the orcas in Seaworld's care or those in the wild.

From a ''radical activist, keyboard warrior'' stand I would love it if people WOULD actually look at the links that are neither to Blackfish nor to Seaworld and see the actual evidence for themselves.

No one can make a conscious rational decision if they haven't been given all the facts.

Who knows once you see the evidence for yourself maybe you will never go to Seaworld again.

Either way that choice is entirely yours based on ACTUAL facts rather than the rants of a blog that supplies you with none.

If feeding time at Seaworld doesn't look like this you have learnt nothing from your visit

Ultimate Guide- Orcas Cooperate to Catch Fish