SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has struggled to float its message of conservation and education to the top in a sea of controversy fueled by “Blackfish.” In August however, the company made its biggest splash since the release of the controversial documentary when it announced the Blue World Project.
A huge investment for the company, this project could hold a promising future for SeaWorld to regain visitors lost to swirling accusations regarding the park’s care and treatment of its marine life. A multi-million dollar initiative, the Blue World Project is rings much louder than the microsite entitled, “The Truth About Blackfish,” that the organization launched after the premiere of the film.
They say a message is heard a lot clearer by action rather than just giving a statement, and this project may be just what SeaWorld needs to turn down the volume on its negative press and quiet the criticism of extreme animal activist.
Consisting of multiple components, the Blue World Project will kick off with a massive expansion of its parks’ orca exhibits. Not only will the aquariums be almost double the current size, but SeaWorld also ensures the environments will be more enriching for the whales in captivity.
The new setting promises to be educational for visitors as well. Boasting state-of-the-art viewing experiences from underwater and shoreline, SeaWorld explains that visitors will be able to interact with killer whales like never before.
In addition to the exhibit changes, SeaWorld has committed to learning more about killer whales in the wild by matching funds for the species’ research, up to $10 million. Indicating SeaWorld’s eagerness for knowledge, studies have already been scheduled to explore the hearing ranges, nutritional status and reproduction of killer whales.
Furthering its credibility as a leader in marine life care, SeaWorld is working with third-party sources and multi-million dollar partnerships to build the new environments and protect the ocean for wild whales. Given the beating SeaWorld’s credibility has taken, SeaWorld’s action to seek out other resources could resonate its dedication to killer whale care.
While this initiative has not converted extreme animal activists, it may bring peace of mind back to the SeaWorld fans who were lost in the controversy of “Blackfish,” and attract tourism back to the parks.