News is not looking good for SeaWorld these days and, well, that makes us rather happy since this means the tides are finally starting to turn against the captivity industry, which for far too long has skirted proper scrutiny.
As we’ve learned over the years, the marine captivity industry has direct ties to the capture of wild marine mammals and the brutal slaughter that happens annually in Taiji. By supporting marine mammal captivity, one is in effect lending support to these unethical practices.
Yet, as expected, SeaWorld has been doing everything in its power to avoid association with these activities even though many of their orcas came from the wild before the company further developed its breeding program with resident bull whale Tilikum.
Despite SeaWorld’s ridiculous PR gimmicks – ranging from open letters denouncing “Blackfish” to Twitter ads debunking “myths” about their orca treatment – the company is no longer on the high and nearly untouchable pedestal it once was thanks to the backlash spurred by “Blackfish” and subsequent campaigns from organizations like the Oceanic Preservation Society.
Now, it looks like both these campaigns and “Blackfish” are actually having an effect on SeaWorld’s popularity. The company has recently reported that its attendance numbers are down by 13 percent this year so far.
According to the LA Times, the attendance numbers “were included in a notice to the Securities and Exchange Commission that SeaWorld was buying 1.75 million of its own shares from Blackstone Group.”
(For a little refresher: Blackstone Group has been dumping SeaWorld shares since late 2013, when it sold 19,500,000 of the company’s shares.)
From January 2014 to March 31, 2014, SeaWorld numbers dropped “to about 3.05 million visitors from 3.5 million in the same period in 2013,” as the LA Times reports.
SeaWorld has continually stated that it is not suffering any loses as result of “Blackfish backlash,” but it looks like these new numbers are telling a different story.
Whether or not SeaWorld will admit that “Blackfish” is having an effect on its business, the documentary has and continues to captivate the public’s attention. SeaWorld is no longer insulated in its tightly wrapped captivity cocoon. The truth has come out and more damning evidence will just keep on coming. Watch out, SeaWorld. The battle has only begun.
Image source: Robert Linsdell / Flickr