Up until recently, twenty captive orcas were residing in North America (one, Kiska, in Canada, and the rest in the United States). This year two of the oldest orcas – Kiska and Tokitae – passed away, leaving the future for the 18 remaining orcas at SeaWorld uncertain. SeaWorld has ended orca breeding but there are many young members of this long-lived species who will spend decades in confinement if nothing changes. Moreover, the science on captive orca welfare clearly demonstrates that orcas are not a viable species for maintaining in concrete tanks. The one solution to this situation is to create seaside sanctuaries to which captive orcas can be transferred and where they can live more natural lives in the ocean while still under human care. Tokitae was being prepared for that life before she died. Kiska was a whale who might have been one of the first orcas in the Whale Sanctuary in Nova Scotia. But their deaths can only reinforce our efforts to help the remaining orcas and to set an example for changing the landscape for captive orcas globally. In this talk, I will present the scientific evidence for the poor welfare of captive orcas and discuss and update the development of an authentic whale sanctuary in Nova Scotia by the Whale Sanctuary Project.
ACS-OC is a regular exhibitor at popular local events including the Dana Point Festival of Whales, Imaginology STEAM Fair, KelpFest, Earth Day at the Bay, and Prehistoric OC.
J. Michael Williamson
Dr. Cristina Castro
Dr. Chris Lowe
Join an elite organization that consists of marine biologists, conservationists, and citizens scientists that support the efforts of the world first cetacean conservation organization.