Blackfish

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Mandy's picture
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Blackfish

Have you seen Blackfish? Did it change your views about Sea World? Do you think Sea World deserves this bad publicity? Do you think Bands, Brew and BBQ will still go on as planned with a lot of acts cancelling?

Kristen K.'s picture
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I haven't seen it yet, but I did notice that it's on Netflix now so I was thinking about watching it. I doubt that it will change my opinion about Sea World because as I understand it, the film is a very biased and one sided presentation.

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I haven't seen it yet and not sure if I want to. But funny thing is, everyone wants to jump on and boycott Sea World when before this movie, only a few people actually cared about it. I've noticed that people as a whole don't care about a cause until there is light shed on it.

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As Kristen said, there are two sides to every story. While I am against holding wild animals captive for entertainment, it is my understanding that Sea World and Disney rescue animals that are near-death and rehabilitate them. I've also heard they take animals previously abused or held captive in unfortunate situations. I'd rather an animal go to Disney than die. On the other hand, I am not a fool, Sea World is out to make a buck just like Disney. I will def. watch it, but I don't know if it will change my mind.

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Right. Just wondering what all of you think about this boycotting Sea World campaign.

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Sea World does an amazing amount of work in research, rehabilitation and rescue. However those worthy pursuits have to be funded. There's no pay out in rescuing and caring for an animal until it is back to health. The substantial advances in marine biology that have been made by Sea World are expensive and labor intensive pursuits, they need that money from the Parks to continue. I don't think that boycotting Sea World is a good idea at all because if the parks go away - so does the science.

These animals in captivity on display for everyone to come see are what spark the imaginations of individuals to learn more and donate to conservation causes. But the pools are small - any pool is small compared to an ocean. Do they need to have shows? I believe that they do, because it helps the animals to get exercise of both body and mind. Maybe the show format could change so that it's not as entertaining, but where is the "weenie" in that?

Do I think that trainers need to be in the water? Maybe, maybe not. I think that it helps build the relationships with the animals. I also think that animal trainers know what the risks can be when they go into the field. It's an occupational hazard, many occupations come with higher risks of death (police officers, emts, commercial fishermen, roofers, truck drivers, etc etc) and people don't boycott getting new roofs or eating because someone died.

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^^^ Well put Kristen.

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Mandy's picture
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Very well put! Here is the official statement from Sea World. http://attractionsmagazine.com/bands-back-festival-seaworld-releases-open-letter-killer-whale-care/

Personally, I'm still going to support Sea World.

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Agreed, very well put Kristen! awesome

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Lovely statement from Sea World.

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I agree, well said Kristen.

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Since we are talking about it, I watched Blackfish today.

It left me a little sad, that's for sure. Though I still believe what I said before, the film made it apparent to me that things could be done better. I don't however think that distancing the trainers from the animals (which has happened) is one of those things that is "better." Yes, it's occupationally safer, which was OSHAs main concern - but I don't think that makes it better.

It would be nice if there was some sort of oversight for all zoological parks that ensured decisions made about the animals were always made in their best interest vs. corporate interests. I don't like the separation of family groups at all. I also think that the trainers should have some sort of annual 'dangers of the job' training, which it doesn't seem like they go through. Those are things that ALL animal parks and facilities should have to comply with, not just Sea World.

It's beyond me how boycotting the music festival will make a difference at all. Sea World is just going to find different performers that will be more than happy to play.

Has anyone else watched the movie?

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Not yet. I think I should just to be informed and see what all the fuss is about. There were about 20 protesters outside Sea World the other day but still hundreds of cars just passed by them not caring. I think that people forget that Sea World also has rides and not just the shows.

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I haven't watched it yet, but most likely will. I'll be honest, I'm on the fence regarding "zoos" in general. For me, it's a real moral dilemma. On one hand, I think it's important for people to see the animals of the world (including the sea of course). But, keeping animals "caged up" bothers me. I'll never forget visiting the Los Angeles Zoo in 1994 and seeing a polar bear pacing back and forth in sheer boredom in sweltering heat that it was never meant to live in. I could tell he/she was not happy at all.

I dunno what to think really. Puzzled

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Mandy wrote:
Not yet. I think I should just to be informed and see what all the fuss is about.

You should, it was good. It was much less biased than I expected it to be, but I went into it watching analytically motivated rather than emotionally. There is a fair amount if information that I felt was edited to show only one side, however at no point though do I feel like it was a call to boycott or protest. It wasn't nearly as emotionally charged as "The Cove" was. It just kinda put the information out there and let folks draw their own conclusions.

I do believe (from watching the film) that before he came to Sea World that Tilikum was in an abusive environment that set his entire life up for a distrust of humans, and even other whales. This big guy has been bullied an abused, but what does one do with a giant orca with an attitude problem? Perhaps that's another really good question that Blackfish indirectly poses. One of the trainers at the end suggests that they could be reintroduced to the wild, or kept in a sea pen in "retirement" but I'm not convinced that either of those answers would really work.

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Kristen K. wrote:
Mandy wrote:
Not yet. I think I should just to be informed and see what all the fuss is about.

You should, it was good. It was much less biased than I expected it to be, but I went into it watching analytically motivated rather than emotionally. There is a fair amount if information that I felt was edited to show only one side, however at no point though do I feel like it was a call to boycott or protest. It wasn't nearly as emotionally charged as "The Cove" was. It just kinda put the information out there and let folks draw their own conclusions.

I do believe (from watching the film) that before he came to Sea World that Tilikum was in an abusive environment that set his entire life up for a distrust of humans, and even other whales. This big guy has been bullied an abused, but what does one do with a giant orca with an attitude problem? Perhaps that's another really good question that Blackfish indirectly poses. One of the trainers at the end suggests that they could be reintroduced to the wild, or kept in a sea pen in "retirement" but I'm not convinced that either of those answers would really work.

Some people have said that it's sometimes impossible to reintroduce an animal back into the wild because they were in such bad conditions that it would not be good for the animal. It's really tricky and I feel like SeaWorld does the best job it can to care for animals.

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I have seen Blackfish. Let me first start by saying that my favorite animal of all is the Orca, also known as Killer Whale. I've had a fascination for these animals since I can remember, and my parents took me to Sea World as a little girl. If I had been good at Science and Math, I think my dream would have been to be an Animal trainer. That being said, I am better at Languages and talking, and therefore I am trying to pursue a career in Education, and more specifically in a Museum or Park as an Educator.

Alright this all being said, let me state my opinion of the movie and about Sea World. I do believe the movie is very one sided and biased. But then again, I am also very biased when it comes to Orcas, so this movie would normally trigger a sense of "Yup, you are right Sea World is bad!". But it didn't. My opinion before the movie is the same as after this movie.

I do not believe that animal captivity is right. My main issue with Sea World, and this is the only real two issues I have, is the size of their tanks and their breeding program. As previously stated, well these tanks will always be too small compared to an ocean, and no matter how much they would expand, I would still be displeased. So there isn't much I can do about that. Now when it comes to the breeding, I mean I don't understand the number of Orcas kept in those enclosers. I think it is too small to begin with, let alone having 5 or 6 of them together, and having more with babies popping up for monetary gain.
But when I see the conditions the 40 year old Lolita from the Miami Seaquarium is kept in, well I just think Sea World is royalty next to that. So there's always that.

This being said, Sea World has an amazing rehabilitation and educational program. They do provide a lot when it comes to rescuing and setting animals back into their natural habitats. They provide a large sum of money to conservation and have proven to be an essential asset for educational purposes. And I do realize that, while I don't agree with captivity, in some cases, Captivity is their only chance to survive and live out their lives in peace. Some animals cannot be rehabilitated and Sea World provides them with a home. And that's wonderful. In doing so, we get to see these animals up close and be educated at how important it is to protect our planet and our environment.
I guess people shouldn't base their opinions on what happened 30 years ago either but rather on how we evolved and learned, and tried to make things better since the 90's.

I do believe that this boycott issue is stupid however. People need to remember that while the people at the top don't care, the people who make our food at the restaurants, clean up after us, entertain us at the shows, buckle us in at the attractions, and most of all: the animal keepers who care for these animals, those people this is their job. This is their source of income, this is their way of living. And while I don't think Sea World will have to close, if this has permanent, long term damage, it's not the animals that will suffer, it's the people who lose their jobs and can no longer provide for their families. I believe the animals will somehow be alright and sent to sanctuaries. But the people? Who will care for them?

People need to understand both sides before forming an opinion. They need to see that not everything is black with Sea World. And the makers of Blackfish need to understand one thing: Orcas are not black, but black AND white. And white is light, and good. And also that they aren't fish <_< And should probably watch Sea Rescue on ABC a bit more often.

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Melli wrote:
the makers of Blackfish need to understand one thing: Orcas are not black, but black AND white. And white is light, and good. And also that they aren't fish <_< And should probably watch Sea Rescue on ABC a bit more often.

They said in the movie that "Blackfish" is what one of the native tribes of the Pacfic Northwest calls orca. That's where the name of the film came from.

awesome

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Kristen K. wrote:
Melli wrote:
the makers of Blackfish need to understand one thing: Orcas are not black, but black AND white. And white is light, and good. And also that they aren't fish <_< And should probably watch Sea Rescue on ABC a bit more often.

They said in the movie that "Blackfish" is what one of the native tribes of the Pacfic Northwest calls orca. That's where the name of the film came from.

awesome

Well I get that. But still... The title seems dark. I mean I guess it's suppose to do that. I just think it tarnishes the name of this beautiful animal. Tongue

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I finally watched it a few days ago. Of course, I cried! It just broke my heart!

First, I had no idea that the animal trainers literally "auditioned" for the part. I was also assuming you had to have credentials such as a marine biology degree or something. I honestly hope it is not like that anymore.....

When working with wild animals, you never know when they will turn on you. How many times do people need to be eaten by their pet tigers, bears, snakes, etc. for them to realize you DON'T PLAY with these animals. I think the court ruling - keeping trainers out of the water is a good idea. If you CHOOSE to work with them in their environment, enter at your own risk. I think it's awful what happened to those people who lost their lives, but they knew it was possible. I mean, my DH knew being in the military brings certain risks - and he accepts that.

I do think SeaWorld does some good. I do not believe animals should be captured in the wild to used a sole entertainment. If an animal needs rescuing and cannot survive in their natural habitat, I think SeaWorld could really help them.

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My gripe with movies like this is that someone obviously has a gripe with their subject matter and chooses to gloss over any good that might be done to enhance the bad stuff.

I've been to SeaWorld a couple of times and have always appreciated that these are animals in captivity but largely appreciated they were, for the most part, 'happy' with their life. I know the whales and dolphins are trained and there has to be an enormous bond with their trainers and people who get in the water with them. As I understood it, the whales and dolphins they have there were rescued from a bad situation. Maybe I've understood it wrong.

I haven't seen the movie, but will make a point to watch it now.

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RobynPrincess posted an interesting article to her Facebook about this film yesterday. It was an interview with one of the former trainers that had helped with the movie, and she was speaking out because she felt dupped by the film makers. The former trainer said that the film makers really skewed the information that was given, and that the trainers that were interviewed on screen didn't have the qualifications to judge the safety of the film clips that were being shown. She seemed very upset, and mentioned that the film maker had called and asked her not to speak out against the movie until after awards season was over.

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I have the article here if anyone wants a read...

http://micechat.com/53915-blackfish-exposed/

I haven't participated in any discussions about it (apart from the link posted on my wall yesterday) as I don't like to get into conflict, but the trainer pretty much said what I thought would be the case.

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I think someone should make a movie called Blackfish: the other untold story. And make it about what they do right... Oh wait! They have! It's called Sea Rescue (I believe I said this before), and its on ABC (Family?) on Saturdays....

RobynPrincess that article was interesting to read. Thank you. I shared it on my FB as well. I read some of the comments and some people's ignorance astound me to be quite honest.

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I have yet to see the movie and really don't believe I will ever watch it so thanks for posting Robyn - it was a very interesting and informative read.