According to SeaWorld’s website:
“Few animals have engaged the public imagination more than marine mammals: killer whales (Orcinus Orca), beluga whales, dolphins, walruses, otters, manatees and sea lions. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s goal is to inspire guests to care for and protect these amazing creatures.”
The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 requires a facility with marine mammals on display to offer an education or conservation program.
Marine parks don’t actually care about educating guests; they are just legally required to attempt to.
It is important to note that the information that marine parks like SeaWorld choose to share with guests regarding the natural age of orcas, family structure, and behavior in the wild, is not at all accurate.
A European study compared levels of knowledge of two groups of students after they took a lesson on marine mammals.
One group got to visit an aquarium while the other group only studied in a classroom. 3 months later both groups scored similarly on tests; proving that aquariums provide no educational advantage over a classroom.
SeaWorld’s website claims that,
“Every visitor who passes through the gates of one of our parks helps SeaWorld rescue and protect animals in need all over the world.”
Over the last decade SeaWorld has donated only $9 million dollars towards conservation efforts.
This may sound like a lot, but for SeaWorld, it is actually pennies.
For every 100 dollars in revenue they brought in, approximately 1 cent was donated towards saving wild animals. That's .0001 percent of their income.
A lot of the money donated comes from government grants and donations, so SeaWorld is actually spending even less on conservation.
Marine mammal experts have called SeaWorld’s marine mammal rescues sloppy and unprofessional. In many instances “rescue” occurs to procure new animals for their captive collection.