SeaWorld sues California Coastal Commission for banning orca breeding arguing that the commission has no jurisdiction over the issue.
California Coastal Commission has banned the breeding of orcas, known as killer whales, held in captivity at a $100 million exhibit at SeaWorld San Diego.
The suit has been filed at the Superior Court of San Diego County and it claims that the treatment of captive orcas is subject of federal law and the California Coastal Commission has no saying in it.
CCC is the organism that has to approve the development of large buildings in coastal cities so it had to review the project of “Blue World” which included the expansion of the orca tank. However, they approved the project under the condition that SeaWorld should not breed, sale, transfer or trade the killer whales.
The park claims that this condition is unprecedented and more important, illegal since the commission has no jurisdiction over the whales.
In the lawsuit SeaWorld argues that their orcas are not part of the marine or coastal environment and all of the activities conducted by the park regarding the breeding, transportation and trading the whales occur onshore in the park’s pools which are not part of the marine environment but they are governed by the federal law.
The spokesperson for the CCC said she couldn’t comment on the lawsuit but made it clear that the commission stands by its decision to protect the orcas.
PETA, the animal rights organization, was the main group opposing Blue World project. In a statement earlier this week they said that the CCC had the right to impose the breeding ban and it made the right decision. According to the group, it was obvious that the intention behind the Blue World project was to confine the extended tanks by breeding the orcas.
SeaWorld announced last month they would end their whales shows at the park in San Diego after the majority of their visitors said they prefer seeing the orcas acting naturally instead of doing learned tricks.
According to PETA SeaWorld can be compared to a sea circus and the whales are its abused elephants. More than that, another way in which orcas are abused is by forced breeding which is done by collecting sperm from the males and inseminating the females at a much younger age and for many more times than they would in nature. The animal rights group urges SeaWorld to end the captivity of the orcas and to send the whales to coastal sanctuaries where they could enjoy living in an environment which resembles more their natural habitat.
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