Today is World Oceans Day so I thought it would be the perfect time to share something I'm very passionate about. I recently had a new tattoo done in the name of spreading awareness for marine animals in captivity. The lovely @maddmoll obliged my request with one of her beautiful watercolor style tattoos.
This years theme for World Oceans Day is healthy oceans, healthy planet. It's putting a focus on ways we can protect and keep our oceans clean. This greatly ties into human intervention and overstepping our boundaries with nature. When marine parks became popular they weren't started for conservation purposes or as animal rescue missions. They were created to take animals from their natural habitat and turn a profit.
This year in Ontario, Bill 80 introduced new legislation which prohibits buying or breeding killer whales. Kiska the 40 year old orca who is owned by Marineland will live out her days isolated in a tank. Other orcas have the same fate at different aquariums around the world except the laws surrounding captivity haven't changed.
To drive this point home I want to share some disturbing facts about killer whales in captivity.
- All captive adult male orcas (and some female) have a collapsed dorsal fin which rarely happens in the wild accounting for 1% of wild orcas. It has been documented as a sign of an health issues or injury.
- In the wild, orcas are constantly moving swimming hundreds of miles while their tanks in captivity are the equivalent of a bathtub in size.
- Captive orcas show aggression towards each other and trainers. Being confined in close quarters puts stress on the orcas forcing them to cause serious injury to their tank mates by raking each other with their teeth.
- Attacks on humans by orcas in the wild are almost non-existent. There are no fatalities documented. However, there are countless injuries sustained by trainers from captive orcas. The orca Tilikum from Seaworld has been involved in 3 deaths, but remains in captivity.
So please spread awareness to your friends and family members. Don't use your hard earned dollars to support large companies like Seaworld and Marineland who have no regard for animal welfare or the safety of their employees. To learn more about the unfair treatment of animals at Marineland here in Ontario, read this article by the Toronto Star that outlines terrible water quality that lead to sickness, fur loss, skin damage and blindness for animals in their care. You can also watch the documentary Blackfish to learn more about the story of Tilikum the killer whale at Seaworld.
When you think you are just one person and couldn't possibly make a different please remember... “One drop of water helps to swell the ocean. … None are too small, too feeble, too poor to be of service. Think of this and act.” -- Hannah More