Following up on my November 10, 2013 post regarding the fate of orcas kept in captivity in aquatic amusement parks like Sea World, the public pressure seems to be continuing as several major contemporary music acts have cancelled their appearances at Sea World, thereby gutting a major entertainment series Sea World was heavily promoting.
As important as the environmental issue is regarding captive orcas and dolphins, it will be changes in economics that will be the actual thumbscrew to bring about change. Less paying customers at the gate will most certainly catch the attention of Sea World management.
At present Sea World is waging an aggressive public relations campaign that refutes many of the assertions made in the documentary, Blackfish, which has greatly accelerated the debate. Sea World claims that many of their other more admirable marine mammal activities are funded by the revenue drawn from the whale and dolphin shows, and that may be correct. For Sea World to change its course would require a major change in revenue acquisition and distribution.
At the same time, there are other alternatives to Sea World for the public to see whales. Whale watching is one such activity and competing tourism operations in the San Diego area are capitalizing on Sea World's woes by promoting their own eco-tourism whale watching operations.
The Marriott International Corporation, with its many hotels in the San Diego area, are promoting their whale watching program. This is the time of year for observing migrating gray whales as they cruise along the California coast, on their way to Baja, Mexico.
The following infographic illustrates the gray whale migration and when they pass by the waters off San Diego. The infographic was "Powered by Marriott."
Seeing whales in the wild in California, whether it be gray whales, blue whales, or even a pod of orcas (which recently cruised the California coast ), this is a much more natural and respectful manner in which to better appreciate these marine mammals for what they truly are - magnificent marvels of the oceans, not trained servants jumping through hoops.
Many thanks to the Marriott corporation for the use of the infographic. If you would like to read more about whale watching and the program that the Marriott has available, click here.
Source: Marriott International Corporation