The project was announced before applying for the permits to begin, so it became clear that it was a desperate attempt on PR's behalf to help clear the marine park's name.
The Blue World Project is an expansive project where SeaWorld is planning to double the size of its orcas' tanks to about 10-million gallons in their San Diego location. There will be sand, plants, and other ocean-like stuff that orcas could find in the wild.
"A larger prison is still a prison," PETA responded to this announcement.
"How do you plan to deal with the noise and pollution around the tanks when building the Blue World Project tank?" Allie asks on ask.seaworldcares.com. SeaWorld responded: "We have made improvements to our killer whale habitats many times over the past 30 years. While we work to minimize the disruption during these construction periods, our whales continue to exhibit normal behavior and show no evidence of stress."
Actually, many whales over the past 30 years have exhibited aggressive and depressed behavior. Blackfish argues that Tilikum's aggressive behavior is psychotic because of 30-plus years in captivity. A new study on marine parks and their ability to provide environments adequate for orcas says:
"Drs Ventre and Jett introduce us to detailed observations and strong statistical calculations that add up to an abundance of evidence that captivity kills orcas, usually at a young age... and that stresses, social tensions and poor health are chronic issues in marine park facilities."
John Hargrove, a former SeaWorld trainer who directly worked with orcas, willingly spoke in Blackfish about the details behind-the-scenes and published a book about his experiences called "Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish."
He told The Dodo that SeaWorld is deceiving the public about the size of the new tanks. "They're proposing to use the already existing space of the Shamu pool and they're making people think it's this big improvement. It shows the culture of deception."
SeaWorld's website explains that the new enclosure will be 50 feet in depth with 1.5 acres of surface area and will "enhance dynamic opportunities for play, including a 'fast water current' that allows whales to swim across moving water."
Jeff Ventre, the former SeaWorld trainer who conducted the study on marine parks, said that the Blue World Project "is a public relations gesture. It's not a fix or a solution to the notion of captivity. It doesn't really help the animals from a health perspective."
While the Blue World Project is very much preferred over the whales' current tanks, a bigger tank is not going to stop SeaWorld from continuing its unethical decisions, such as their breeding programs and constant separation of mother and calf.
What SeaWorld keeps behind its closed doors is the fact that they are very notorious for breeding within the park and trading between other parks. Tilikum was born in 1981, was captured in Iceland in 1982, was at Sealand of the Pacific and then was transferred to SeaWorld Orlando in 1992. He has since sired (some through artificial insemination) 21 calves, 11 of which are alive today. But great news: SeaWorld decided to stop using Tilikum to breed since his offspring began to show violent behavior like their father!
SeaWorld is bribing people to sign the petition to get funds for the Blue World Project
In exchange for signing the petition, visitors are getting a free drink at the park.