Thursday, news broke that SeaWorld and Southwest Airlines were parting ways. This was cause for celebration for those who have been in quiet communications with Southwest Airlines and others who have petitioned them to request the end of their long-running relationship. However, SeaWorld has stated that the decision was mutual because they want to concentrate on growing markets in Latin America and Asia. With fewer animal protections in these countries, the split is not all good news for those animals who might be captured or shipped to fill the new market.
These broken ties are obviously a step in the right direction, but there is more work to be done. Virgin Holidays has claimed to remain dedicated to ocean conservation, yet even after engaging stakeholders in the conversation about cetaceans and tourism in June, they continue to sell trips to SeaWorld.
WWF has also come under fire in the past months after a community contributor on The Dodo exposed their relationship with SeaWorld. WWF states that they are mandated to protect and serve endangered animals in the wild, but animals in captivity falls outside of that protection. As an organization who claims to protect endangered animals it is interesting to find that Southern Resident Killer Whales, an endangered species due partially to SeaWorld's captures, are not even acknowledged on the WWF website.