PLEDGE NOW
An End To Performing Orcas?

A California bill would ban keeping orcas – killer whales — in captivity for entertainment. SeaWorld is preparing for battle. We’ll dive in.

An endangered female orca leaps from the water while breaching in Puget Sound west of Seattle, as seen Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 from a federal research vessel that has been tracking the whales. (AP)

An endangered female orca leaps from the water while breaching in Puget Sound west of Seattle, as seen Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 from a federal research vessel that has been tracking the whales. (AP)

Orcas, killer whales, are big.  Ten thousand pounds.  More.  They clearly weren’t made to live in pens or sea parks.  But for decades now they have, performing for millions of visitors thrilled by their incredible scale, agility, and intelligence.  A new bill just introduced in California would end all that in the state where Sea World began.  It would ban performing orcas.  Ban the holding of killer whales in captivity for entertainment.  The evidence is in, supporters say, that it’s just too cruel for the great creatures.  But it’s a big business, fighting back hard.  This hour On Point:  the fight over orcas.

 – Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Naomi RoseMarine Mammal Scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute.

Tim Zimmermann, Outside magazine correspondent, associate producer and co-writer of the documentary, “Blackfish.” (@Earth_ist)

Grey Stafford, animal trainer and director of Conservation at the Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium in Phoenix. (@ZOOmility)

Tony Perry, San Diego bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times. (@LATSanDiego)

Read A Statement From SeaWorld

From Tom’s Reading List

Los Angeles Times: Proposed ban on orca shows at SeaWorld stirs anger in San Diego — “A bill by a Santa Monica assemblyman that would ban orca shows at SeaWorld is being blasted in San Diego, home of the marine theme park. SeaWorld expressed doubt about the legality of the legislation.”

The Hollywood Reporter: The ‘Blackfish’ Effect: California’s Proposed Orca Ban, Artists Canceling Theme Park Concerts — “On March 7, California assemblyman Richard Bloom, a Democrat whose district includes Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Bel Air, Brentwood and Santa Monica, introduced legislation that would ban amusement parks from using orcas for performances in theme shows. Spurred by the controversial documentaryBlackfish about captured orcas, the bill also would illegalize captive breeding and prohibit the import and export of the so-called killer whales.”

New York Times: SeaWorld Questions Ethics of ‘Blackfish’ Investigator — “‘Blackfish’ has become a rallying point for those who oppose the use of killer whales for entertainment in the SeaWorld parks, and it has drawn large audiences in theaters and on TV. But SeaWorld has defended its practices, mounting an aggressive pushback against the film.The company continued its counterattack with a complaint delivered Thursday to the Labor Department. It accuses the official examining an orca’s 2010 fatal attack on a SeaWorld trainer of ethical violations, including leaking confidential documents to the makers of ‘Blackfish.'”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 4, 2015
A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of a migrant child after a number of migrants died and a smaller number were reported missing after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized, near the Turkish resort of Bodrum early Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. (DHA/AP)

Migrant crisis in Europe. The Iran deal, cleared. A Kentucky clerk and gay marriage. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Sep 4, 2015
Serena Williams reacts after winning a point against Kiki Bertens, of the Netherlands, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Serena Williams. The undisputed queen of tennis, and what she’s meant in sports and beyond.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 3, 2015
Journalists protest the murder of photojournalist Ruben Espinosa Becerril in Mexico City, on Aug. 2, 2015. (Marco Ugarte/AP)

Three Vice News journalists arrested in Turkey. A wave of journalists in prison. In graves. We’ll look at journalists worldwide under pressure.

 
Sep 3, 2015
A television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the decision of the Federal Reserve, on July 29, 2015. The Federal Reserve may raise interest rates soon. (Richard Drew/AP)

Should the Fed finally raise interest rates? In spite of the stock market roller coaster? We’ll dig into the Fed weighing the end of free money.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Martin O’Malley On ‘Rigged’ Democratic Debates
Wednesday, Sep 2, 2015

Former Baltimore mayor and Democratic Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has single digits in the polls in Iowa but is out there swinging. He joined host Tom Ashbrook on Wednesday.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: August 28, 2015
Friday, Aug 28, 2015

You say #hashtag, we say, #forwhat? That, plus Usain Bolt and the ominous lurking Segway cameraman. Friday!

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments