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SeaWorld Considers Options After California Agency Approves Expansion Plans, Bans Captive Breeding

Photo: Michael Lowin, Wikimedia Commons.
Photo: Michael Lowin, Wikimedia Commons.

SeaWorld says it will "review its options" after a California state agency approved plans for a $100 million expansion of its orca tanks in San Diego.

The California Coastal Commission's decision comes with an important caveat – the park would be banned from breeding captive orca whales.

SeaWorld calls the decision disappointing.

The company released a statement describing the condition as inhumane because it deprives orcas of a "natural and fundamental right to reproduce."

The expansion is part of SeaWorld's Blue World Project in San Diego, which calls for similar expansions in Orlando and San Antonio.

The San Diego expansion was scheduled to open in 2018.

SeaWorld has been under fire since an Orlando orca killed a trainer in 2010 and the documentary "Blackfish" suggested the whale's treatment contributed to her death.


Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.