I recently got back from my 7th continent trip - a basecamp activity cruise to Antarctica. As one would anticipate, it truly was a trip of a lifetime and filled with unexpected adventures at every turn.
SeaWorld should reconsider their active opposition to sea pens and should work with scientists, trainers, and environmental organizations to establish sea pen sanctuaries to retire their orcas, beluga whales, and dolphins.
Blackfish forced SeaWorld to announce that it would discontinue its orca-breeding program, effectively phasing out its orca captivity. That is good, but it is not enough to protect orcas at SeaWorld in the future, or orcas that are or might later be held in other locations.
Even though the decision to end captive breeding of orcas is a much-needed step in the right direction, the way that SeaWorld has presented its decision to the public and the media has been disingenuous. SeaWorld is bowing to consumer pressure to survive.
SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby and I sent a letter to President Obama urging him to use a wide range of diplomatic tools to pressure Japan to end its commercial whaling activities and to stop contravening international law by slaughtering hundreds of innocent whales.
Lolita is living out her lonely existence in sub-standard solitary confinement in Florida at the Miami Seaquarium. Her particular situation is the lowest-hanging fruit in improving humane treatment for captive orcas.
The humane economy can move at lightning speed, and hit with full force. The world is waking up to the needs of all animals, and the smartest CEOs don't resist the change. They hitch a ride on it and harness the momentum.
On December 9, Jackass star and daredevil Steve-O will voluntarily begin his 30-day sentence in a Los Angeles county jail. After his release, he'll then begin a three-year probation and be temporarily banned from Hollywood. And it's all because of a whale.
All captive orcas in the United States must be retired: not to bigger incarcerating pools, but to coastal seapens, where they can, at least, live out the remainder of their natural lives in something close to natural freedom.