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While attendance at SeaWorld has dropped by 13 percent, the attendance of similar marine parks in China seem to be skyrocketing. China is currently the largest importer of beluga whales and dolphins in the world, and according to a new report recently published on China File, they will soon add the coveted orca whale to the list of their imports.

The launch of Ocean Kingdom, a marine theme park that features the world’s largest aquarium, has raised alarm with cetacean groups across the globe as reports say the park’s intention is to showcase killer whales.

Many of the belugas and dolphins that reside in Chinese aquariums and marine parks are obtained from Russian waters (or the infamous cove in Taiji) and anti-captivity advocates have reason to believe that two of the orcas featured at Ocean Kingdom were obtained along the same means.

If suspicions are confirmed, then China would be the first country to feature a wild caught killer whale in a marine park since 1990. While there is no question that wild animals should not be held in captivity and forced to perform, this development is especially troubling due to the growing demand for cetacean theme parks in China.

In addition, marine theme parks are not regulated by the same body who regulates zoos in China, but rather by the Ministry of Agriculture which is known for their tendency to lay all their interests in major capitol investments. With an average of 109 million people who attend marine parks every year, the proceeds that Ocean Kingdom is expected to reap does not bode well for the future of wild caught orcas.

Qin Xiaona, the director of Beijing-based NGO, Capital Animal Welfare Association, comments on China’s aggressive push towards development at any cost, “We are developing at the cost of the environment, the animals, and even some of our own people … As long as they have profits to make, they don’t care about anything.”

If wild orcas continue to be harvested from the ocean, their populations are guaranteed to tumble below a rate that can ever recover. The push to ban marine parks in the U.S. can be greatly accredited to the growing popularity of the film, “Blackfish.” There is a bootleg version of the film floating around China, but an official translated version has yet to be released. If producers of “Blackfish” can make this happen, surely some positive change can come into place in China, just as it has here in the U.S.

Image source: Clayoquot/Wikimedia Commons

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120 comments on “Two More Wild Caught Killer Whales Captured and Placed in Marine Parks”

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Zoe ng
4 Years Ago

I would like to point out that Ocean Park in Hong Kong holds captive dolphins for exhibit purposes. They currently hold 7 dolphins which were taken via drive hunts in Taiwan and Indonesia. Ocean Park, has aligned it\'s business model along with the likes of SeaWorld and Loro Parque.
We have continuously requested that they consider phasing out their captive dolphin exhibit and captive breeding programme.
Whilst they proudly boast of accreditations and memberships of the IMATA, what makes them any different to the aquariums in China? Why is there a double standard? There are people in Hong Kong and China fighting against this atrocity, and hating on China is not very productive. Look further into Chimelong, Ocean Kingdom and you will find several members of Seaworld, Busch Gardens, Georgia Aquarium and Loro Parque, even Ocean Park in HK now work or have worked there. I have been invited to a meeting at Ocean Park in HK, to discuss this situation with members of the company, and welcome you to visit the Ocean Park, Hong Kong facebook page and share how you feel about their confinement of 20 dolphins. If they did lose the dolphin show, I doubt their attendance records would be affected, and surely it would be in the animals best interests\', which is what they\'re about. isn;t it? conservation, compassion and loving nature.

Jessica Kay Thornton
4 Years Ago

Why oh why is this happening???!! Greedy money grabbing bastards

Charmaine Leopold
4 Years Ago

sick, .....all for money...sick....

Maria Eugênia Mourão
4 Years Ago


K Steelo Cook
4 Years Ago

No Bueno

Sher Monfore
4 Years Ago

Michele Capizzi Cielukowski
4 Years Ago

Ugh!!!! Just awful! As long as people keep patronizing these places, they will continue these practices!

Cynthia Eaton Morneau
4 Years Ago

Stop stop STOP!!!!!! These animals belong free! FREE THEM so they can swim 1/200 miles a day. That's normal; AQUARIUMS are NOT!

Christina Stanley
4 Years Ago

Set them. Free

Deb Macpherson
4 Years Ago


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