I have just finished a three week trip of a life time down the East Coast of Australia. After all the great adventures; from diving in the Great Barrier Reef to off roading on Fraser Island there was always one common sight to be seen….Whales! The trip took place during Australia’s whale season and without fail at every place I visited a tail or water spray from a whale was guaranteed. Traveling down on the GreyHound bus I had many hours to occupy myself. I decided in honour of all the whales I had seen I would the watch the documentary Blackfish in a very stop and start fashion thanks to the buses WiFi…first world problems.
As a social media addict I had heard of Blackfish and knew that it put Sea World in a bad light with how they cared for the orcas in their parks. I was not prepared for how much the documentary would actually impact me. The opening credits grab your attention straight away by playing multiple emergency phone call conversations about trainers at Sea World being injured by whales. After the documentary captures your attention with the shocking calls it introduces you to the star of the show Tilikum. The film takes you through Tilikum’s life from being captured as a baby, being mistreated by trainers, bullied by other whales, his multiple attacks, breeding half of sea worlds whales leading to his final deadly attack on a trainer.
Tilikum’s built up frustration is communicated through former whale trainers at Sea World. The former trainers admit to how they turned a blind eye to the whale being mistreated and living a miserable life in captivity. Shocking contributions from the former trainers informs the audience about how such little information was communicated to them about Tilikum’s attacks on trainers or how any other whale had attacked trainers. It quickly becomes very clear that Sea World have covered up many brutal attacks from the public and even their own staff. The documentary is a mash up of interviews, news clips and home videos of shows which clearly demonstrate attacks on trainers or injuries to the whales. Facts about the orca whales are provided by experts. The facts support the theory that these beautiful mammals should not be in a giant fish bowl but free swimming the ocean. The film opens your eyes to how easy it can be for a global company to cover up deadly accidents and cruelty to animals for the sake of ticket sales. Unfortunately for Sea World the world is now listening and word is spreading. The results of the documentary are clear as Sea World have announced losses in sales for the past two quarters. If like me you want to help or make some sort of difference to freeing the orcas then why not continue to spread the word?
If you have a spare few hours I would highly recommend watching this documentary. You can develop your own opinion on the matter. As for me I think it’s time to free the orcas and let them live out their lives in peace and not in a tank smaller then the parks car park.The fact which convinced me is there are no records or a orca whale attacks in the wild, yet in captivity there are endless reports of attacks. Surely this is a sign from the orcas that we need to Free Willy?
Image below is Banksy’s reaction to the documentary.