jjuttp

Blackfish

65 posts in this topic

For those of us unable to (or too lazy to), would you care to give us the two sentence version on what the problem is?

Taken from IMDb

"Notorious killer whale Tilikum is responsible for the deaths of three individuals, including a top killer whale trainer. Blackfish shows the sometimes devastating consequences of keeping such intelligent and sentient creatures in captivity."

So I'm guessing people are annoyed at how the whales were treated.

Edited by Alex Berriman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It actually looks like a really good film. I thought the cove was amazing and I think there will be some interesting content in this film also. Sea World in the US seems to have very different attitudes towards its animals than the Australian park, I've long though this and it will be interesting to see what this brings to light. I doubt Australia would ever have Orcas because they really are just too damn big for captivity. Our dolphins have more room than they do overseas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Sea World's in the US don't necessarily rescue the animals and then keep them in captivity which is what I don't like. They are just about making a profit with disregard to the saving of animals, they are just making people aware of the animals. On the other hand, Sea World on the Gold Coast is a conservation and animal rescue group that knows when an animal must stay in captivity in order to survive. This way they can still make a profit whilst keeping needy animals alive.

Overall, Sea World US have it completely wrong :D :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The film, while based on orcas, also raises some valid points about their cousins, the dolphin. In captivity they're taught to launch balls and people, take them for rides, etc. But in the wild, although they can be considered the humans of the sea, do none of that. The closest you'll get to that behavior, is the movie Whale Rider. And not just that, but other points, enclosure wise, can be put into place everywhere. ever noticed the polar bears doing laps? Within minutes i had learnt the path that the one at Singapore Zoo takes. Enclosures for larger and most air-breathers are way too small, even though they fit the guidelines. The polars should have something the size of Imagine. As should the seals. An orca would need something the size of the lake in the middle of the park. Something that can get away with a smaller enclosure though, is penguins. Most of the visitor based stuff in our parks is just that. For the visitors. What i've noticed in my time at the wildlife parks, and being next door to the Aquarium, is that people spend less time in the aquarium because there's less "OMFG" moments like shows. There's talks, yes. But where people spend most of their time is oogling over the penguins and then they flock to that show. Thats about it. Now the Aquarium is longer than it's neighbor Wild Life Syd, but you can kill both in 2 hours flat. Why? not only is there more interest in land-based things but you can touch them, or see the keepers interact with them more. Ever since '08 the only thing the Aquarium workers can interact with is the penguins, and to a degree, the rays and turtles. And the croc that was there for a period. Different story next door. And so thats why places like Orlando do this

/semi-rant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you've ever seen the show Shamu Rocks then the line between showcases and exploiting animals becomes very clear.

You'll notice that in something like the dolphin show at Sea World, there really isn't any of the over the top, flashy show crap that the US parks have, and there is a lot of the space at SW where animals are just left to their own devices in pools that are not used for shows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The film, while based on orcas, also raises some valid points about their cousins, the dolphin. In captivity they're taught to launch balls and people, take them for rides, etc. But in the wild, although they can be considered the humans of the sea, do none of that.

/semi-rant.

Most of the 'tricks' the dolphins do at our Sea World are based on natural behaviours. It may not be 'a ball' that they knock around in the wild, but the behaviour is the same - its just that they do it with other objects.

Wild dolphins have also been known to 'take people for rides' etc in some situations.

The trainers at our Sea World only ask the dolphins to do something that is, to a degree - natural. They can't make the dolphins do it, but they reward them when they do.

believe me - amongst the dolphins in our park are some absolute bitches (not my words), that simply refuse to do what they are asked. There is some frustration amongst some of the trainers towards these pig-headed animals - but they aren't punished for not 'performing', they're still fed adequately. Sure they don't receive what the trainers carry in their pouch but they are well fed.

Having said that - most of the dolphins used for 'imagine' want to do what they are asked to do - they can't wait to go 'on stage' so to speak - it is apparent by their behaviours towards the trainers before the show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's unfortunate that Australia's seaworld is often associated with the American parks despite having nothing to do with them because stuff like this is bound to attract the dolphin activists to the Australian sea world's page in uproar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that all the good seaworld do for the promotion of sealife and keeping the publics interest in marine life is fantastic. Without seaworld people wouldnt have as much knowledge.interest and the ablility to see all these amazing animals. Is it a little cruel to keep the orcas captive? Probably a little but the benifits that it bring for them as a species I believe far outways that. I have seem alot of people going crazy on other forums saying they will never visit seaworld again and all that kinda thing. I would think most these people are meateaters and wear lether shoes and are just making a knejerk reaction after watching the film. Ive seen the film and it does paint a sad picture but I bet someone could also create a pro seaworld documentry and look at all the great work they do with animal rehabilation, search and rescue and research. Its not going to stop me visting seaworld.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bet someone could also create a pro seaworld documentry and look at all the great work they do with animal rehabilation, search and rescue and research.

Problem is that wouldn't be sensational enough. It'd be seen as just a propaganda film or advertisement and be quickly discarded. THis is (rightly or wrongly) given legitimacy of the independent nature of the production.

I guess the only thing to say is - look at McDonald's after Supersize Me. I doubt it's going to hurt them in any lasting way. The only people who can hurt them (government regulators) would know or easily discover the truth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My feelings on Blackfish after watching it was that it tells a story that overall fits with what my own research on orcas in captivity has told me -- that these are creatures that probably shouldn't be in captivity. Where it falls short is its inconsistencies, namely in the two conflicting positions that Tilikum was a victim of psychological tormenting in his pre-SeaWorld years and should have never been interacting with humans the way that he was, but also that he was genetically predisposed to violence and as such should not have been SeaWorld's primary breeding male. A few SeaWorld whale trainers have come out and disputed the accuracy of the film saying either their own interview quotes were taken out of context, or that the trainers that were interviewed were disgruntled or inexperienced. What I've taken from the film and the rebuttals is that SeaWorld orca trainers all have big egos and there's loads of in-fighting. SeaWorld issued a press release only recently to counter the film that seemed to be more misdirection than anything. Talking about the restaurant quality fish they provide, their efforts with marine conservation, and also giving a very weak rebuttal to the issue that orcas in captivity have about half the lifespan of those in the wild. Most US theme park websites seem to have jumped to the defence of SeaWorld, debunking the film based on one non-qualified trainer saying that what another non-qualified trainer said was incorrect. I've not seen anyone debunk the film based on the scientific evidence it provided regarding lifespan in captivity vs wild, dorsal fin collapse, the fact that the enclosures are woefully small, or the evidence of psychological stress that the film presented.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where it falls short is its inconsistencies, namely in the two conflicting positions that Tilikum was a victim of psychological tormenting in his pre-SeaWorld years and should have never been interacting with humans the way that he was, but also that he was genetically predisposed to violence and as such should not have been SeaWorld's primary breeding male.

That's the part that annoyed me the most, they spend a good part of the film explaining that Tilikum (the main whale in question) is suffering from some form of psychosis as a direct result of his captive lifestyle, then contradict themselves in the latter half of the film stating that he is genetically more aggressive and violent and should not be used for breeding purposes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My feelings on Blackfish after watching it was that it tells a story that overall fits with what my own research on orcas in captivity has told me -- that these are creatures that probably shouldn't be in captivity.

But just as smoking was seen as something to aspire to, and burning fossil fuels is bad for the environment - we got here by what our ancestors did. The captivity of the Orca was done well before the psychological or physical harms were known or even thought about. These parks have built their image on 'Shamu', and to take it away from them now would (IMHO) destroy them. Our park survives without Orcas but I would suggest that is only because we've never had them anywhere in this country, and what you never had, you never miss.

I'm reminded of the noise heard back in the 80's over Lions and Elephants in captivity in circuses - and we've just reached a point now where the elephants are no longer in circuses, but only because they were prohibited from BUYING more, and they cannot live without a mate, so as the first died, the second had to be given up too... and that still took 20 years.

So long as they still have a viable breeding program, i'm sure they'll continue to breed them and keep them. It would be unconscionable to capture one from the wild now, so as things progress, it is only those bred in captivity who will be in the park - little consolation, but they're not raping the natural ocean any longer.

And despite what many feel about how the Orcas are housed, kept or treated - the money earned from these creatures and their upsell products, experiences and merchandising is a large chunk of the fundraising needed to support education and rescue programs, ultimately ensuring that what happened to their ancestors will never happen again.

It's not great how they came to be in the park in the first place, but Keiko's story shows why they cannot just release these animals into the wild, so, so long as they have them - they might as well make use of them to further their overall cause.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Parkz Crew

    Support Parkz... join the Crew for:

    • Ad-banner free viewing
    • Parkz Crew profile badge
    • Extended editing
    • See who's liked your posts
    • Purchase discounts

    Join Now from $20/yr

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.