Target: Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell
Goal: Ban the capture of orca whales for entertainment parks.
Washington is looking into a permanent ban on capturing orcas in the state’s waters. Of the 455 orcas living in captivity in the United States, more than half were captured in Washington. The state seeks to ban the capture and holding of whales for entertainment purposes, raising awareness for how orcas and dolphins are treated in captivity. The Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums believes that the proposal will negatively affect whales and other cetaceans, as it claims that marine mammal parks and aquariums are a method of educating the public and urging them to support conservation. Many animal activists and conservation groups disagree, urging parks like SeaWorld to release their captive animals back into the wild for the health and safety of the animals and trainers.
Washington’s population of resident orca whales are listed as endangered, largely due to declines in Puget Sound’s salmon population, though boat traffic and pollution also play important roles. The population that is left—no more than 83 whales—needs to be protected, and making the capture of these whales illegal will help to prevent further exploitation. While marine parks may believe that captivity is the answer to encouraging conservation, preserving these whales in their natural habitat is a far better option than allowing them to suffer in small tanks.
That Washington is choosing to lead the country in whale conservation is a cause for celebration. Whales and other cetaceans are an important part of the ocean’s ecosystem, and increasing numbers of people are aware of the dire need for conservation. By banning the capture of orca whales, Washington will demonstrate the valuing of animal conservation over entertainment. Please sign this petition to encourage Washington’s lawmakers to pursue legislation that will ban the capture of captive whales entirely.
Dear Senator Cantwell,
Washington’s senators recently met to discuss the potential ban of the capture of orca whales and other cetaceans for entertainment. Banning this practice would be an excellent step for animal conservation, as increasing numbers of people are becoming aware of the inhumane treatment of marine mammals in parks and aquariums.
Washington’s orca whale population is dwindling due to a variety of causes, including declining salmon populations, boat traffic, and pollution. By eliminating capture, the state would be committing to the preservation of these unique and important animals and leading the way for other states to do the same.
Your commitment to environmental conservation has been a benefit to the state in the past, and I ask that you continue to support the preservation of Washington state by pursuing this legislation. Please use your power as Washington state senator to support the ban on capturing whales for entertainment in the state and secure the future of Washington’s whale population for future generations.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Minette Layne via Wikimedia Commons