Sea World Calls For End To Japanese Whaling

Sea World Parks & Entertainment and the Humane Society of the United States are urging President Barack Obama to pressure Japan to end its whaling program.

“The United States is well-positioned to lead a comprehensive effort to persuade Japan to abandon commercial whaling as an anachronism that is imprudent, unnecessary for food security, cruel and economically unsound,” wrote SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby and Humane Society president Wayne Pacelle in a joint letter to Obama.

The Thursday letter called for the U.S. delegation to the International Whaling Commission to take a “stronger stand” against whaling and “advance the case” against commercial whaling when negotiating trade agreements.

Last week, a Japanese whaling fleet killed 333 minke whales — around 200 of which were pregnant females — on an expedition to the Antarctic Ocean. Japan maintains that the whales were killed in the name of scientific research, which means the expedition is not subject to limitations set in place by the International Whaling Commission.

However, Japanese whalers still sell the meat from whale hunts, leading animal advocacy groups like the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society to call their claims of scientific research a “loophole” in the IWC statutes. And in 2014, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that Japan’s whaling program did not comply with the definition of whaling for scientific research.

In a blog post, Humane Society President Pacelle addressed concerns from animal advocates skeptical of SeaWorld’s commitment to animal welfare. SeaWorld has been the subject of massive criticism in recent years over its treatment of orca whales, largely inspired by the 2013 documentary “Blackfish.”

“I know and have heard from marine mammal advocates who don’t trust SeaWorld,” Pacelle wrote. “I get their concerns, and I, too, was hesitant even to —> Read More