SeaWorld would have us believe that they are a stellar corporate citizen, committed to research, education and the welfare of not only the cetaceans in their facilities, but of all who live in the ocean. They argue that they are being unfairly targeted by environmental extremists, animal rights activists, and filmmakers who are out to make a name for themselves at the company's expense. Of course this is not so, as shown in the award-winning and highly influential documentary "Blackfish" (see also "Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity" by David Kirby as well as this and this).
Recent events, however, have put the company in a different light for Dr. Thomas White, ethicist and author of the highly acclaimed book "In Defense of Dolphins: The New Moral Frontier."
At the 14th International Conference of the American Cetacean Society (ACS) conference last November, a panel was held about captivity, consisting of representatives from two captive facilities (SeaWorld and Dolphin Research Center), the prominent anti-captivity marine mammal scientist Dr. Naomi Rose and Dr. White. Right before the session began, however, the panelists were told that, unlike all of the other sessions at the conference, the captivity panel wasn't going to be recorded. SeaWorld had made the request, and in the spirit of making sure that all perspectives were represented, the ACS agreed.