Bands bail on SeaWorld

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  November/December 2013:

ORLANDO,  SAN FRANCISCO,  TAIJI––Shortlisted for Oscar consideration as “Best Documentary of 2013,”  the Gabriela Cowperthwaite exposé of SeaWorld Blackfish between November 28 and December 14,  2013 persuaded all six original headline bands and one of the replacements to withdraw from scheduled performances at the SeaWorld “Bands, Brew & BBQ Fest,”  due to begin on February 1,  2014. Read more

Blackfish bites, but SeaWorld isn’t tanking

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)

ORLANDO––SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc on November 13,  2013 reported partial recovery from a year-long attendance slide,  plus record third quarter revenue of $538.4 million. The financial data cooled speculation that the July 2013 theater release of the award-winning documentary Blackfish might have marked the beginning of the end of profitable marine mammal exhibition.  Blackfish had won increasing critical acclaim since debuting at the Sundance film festival in January 2013. Read more

Taiji plans swim-with-dolphins attraction

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)

TAIJI,  Japan––Notorious as scene of the dolphin massacres shown by the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove,  Taiji “has begun researching a plan to section off part of a cove and turn it into a place where people can swim in the water and kayak alongside small whales and dolphins,”  Agence France-Presse reported in October 2013,  confirming rumors circulating since March 2012. Read more

Illegally captured Korean dolphins freed

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)

The Korean Animal Welfare Association in July 2013 celebrated the successful release of the bottlenose dolphins Sampal and Chunsam,  shown en route to release,  and Jedol,  who were the surviviors among 11 dolphins who were illegally captured in  2009 for the Jeju Pacific Land marine park. Jeju District Court Judge Kim Kyeong-seon in April 2012  fined Jeju Pacific Land $9,000,  issued suspended jail sentences to the company president and one employee,  and ordered that the five dolphins from the illegal capture who were still alive and still at the marine park be released.  Five dolphins had died. Jedol had reportedly been traded to the Seoul Grand Park Zoo for two sea lions.   Read more

Georgia Aquarium appeals NOAA ruling against proposed first beluga whale imports since 1992

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.) 

ATLANTA–– The Georgia Aquarium on September 30,  2013 appealed an August 6,  2013 ruling by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration that it had not satisfied the requirements to import 18 beluga whales from Russia. Read more

Trouble at Boise, Portland, and Austin aquariums

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)

BOISE,  Idaho––A new Boise Aquarium management team headed by former Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce president Nancy Vannorsdel has pledged to ensure that alleged mistreatment of animals at the aquarium will not be repeated.  Vannorsdel told KTVB reporter Matt Standal that she wants to add “a couple of very,  very strong marine biologists to sit on the board,”   to ensure proper animal care. Read more

Peter Singer speaks against cruelty to fish

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.) 

PRINCETON––Princeton University bioethicist Peter Singer,  whose 1975 book Animal Liberation helped to ignite the animal rights movement,  recalled in a 2010 guest column for The Guardian,  of London,  that some of his first awareness of animal suffering came during childhood walks with his father.  “My father told me that he could not understand how anyone could enjoy an afternoon spent taking fish out of the water and letting them die slowly,”  Singer wrote,  discussing a report by Alison Mood of the British organization FishCount.org entitled Worse Things Happen at Sea: the Welfare of Wild-caught Fish. Read more

BOOKS / The Lost Whale: The True Story of an Orca Named Luna

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2013:

The Lost Whale: The True Story of an Orca Named Luna by Michael Parfit & Suzanne Chisholm St. Martin’s Press (c/o MacMillan,  175 Fifth Avenue,  New York,  NY  10010),  2013. 329 pages,  hardcover.  $25.99

The Lost Whale is a compelling story of a lost orca,  or killer whale,  who as an infant in 2001 somehow became separated from his pod,  the family that he depended on for survival. Read more

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