SeaWorld launches lawsuit against California commission over orca breeding ban

SAN DIEGO - SeaWorld filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging a California commission's ruling that bans the company from breeding captive killer whales at its San Diego park.

See Full Article

The suit filed in San Diego County Superior Court says the California Coastal Commission was outside its authority when it made the ruling on breeding in October.

The commission endorsed a $100 million expansion of the tanks known as "Blue World" that SeaWorld uses to hold orcas, but in a surprising and serious blow to the park, included a ban on breeding at the planned facility and prohibitions on the sale, trade or transfer of the whales.

The commission had to approve the project as it does all major building plans in coastal cities, but the park's attorneys argued the agency's authority should have ended with the structure itself.

"This last-minute 'no breeding or transfer' condition is unprecedented," SeaWorld said in the lawsuit, which claims the commission's action is illegal because it has no jurisdiction over the orcas.

"The orcas are not, in any way, part of the coastal or marine environment," the lawsuit says. "All of SeaWorld's activities with respect to the care, breeding and transportation of orcas occur onshore in the orca pools and not in the marine environment and are specifically governed by federal law."

Noaki Schwartz, spokeswoman for the Coastal Commission, said the agency could not comment on the particulars of the lawsuit, but the commission said in a statement that it "stands by its decision in October to protect killer whales."

People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the main group opposing the project, said in a statement Tuesday that the commission was within its rights and made the correct decision.

"It's clear that the company's primary intention in pursuing the Blue World Project was to breed more orcas to confine to tanks," PETA said in a statement.

SeaWorld said in October that it would challenge the decision and that it had hired attorneys to examine it but did not give specifics before filing the lawsuit Tuesday.

Last month, the Orlando, Florida-based company said it would end theatrical orca shows at the San Diego park after visitors at the tourist attraction made it clear they prefer seeing killer whales act naturally rather than doing tricks.

The shows will continue at the company's Orlando and San Antonio parks, which are not affected by the breeding ban.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • 'Like bombs': Bankrupt company's air bags still out there

    Economic CTV News
    Takata's lethally defective air bags proved to be the company's undoing Monday. But it could take years to get the dangerous devices off the road in the U.S. and around the world. Crushed by lawsuits, fines and recall costs, the Japanese auto parts supplier filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo and Delaware and will sell most of its assets for $1.6 billion to a rival company. Source
  • 'A seat at the table': GM CEO Mary Barra on engaging with Trump

    Economic CBC News
    At a time when some business leaders have pulled away from working with U.S. President Donald Trump, the head of General Motors sees a need for engagement with the White House. "I think it's always important when you have an opportunity to have a seat at the table to take it, where decisions are being made," GM CEO Mary Barra said during an exclusive interview with Peter Armstrong, host of CBC News Network's On the Money. Source
  • Alphabet partners with Avis to manage self-driving car fleet

    Economic CBC News
    Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Alphabet Inc, said on Monday it signed a multi-year agreement with Avis Budget Group Inc for the car rental firm to manage its growing fleet of autonomous vehicles, sparking a surge in Avis Budget's stock. Source
  • Air Miles raises cap on in-store redemptions

    Economic Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — Air Miles is raising some of the recent daily limits imposed on redeeming miles for in-store purchases from retailers. The customer loyalty program says the new daily limit on Air Miles Cash redemptions, in most cases, has been raised to $100. Source
  • Disgruntled U.S. Tim Hortons franchisees follow Canadian example, form alliance

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - A group representing Tim Hortons franchisees who are unhappy with the management of the coffee-and-doughnut chain says it now has a U.S. chapter, a development that could put further pressure on the parent company. Source
  • Canada, China sign no-hacking agreement designed to protect trade secrets

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Canada and China have agreed not to engage in state-sponsored hacking of each other's trade secrets and business information. The two countries reached the agreement during a meeting last week that was part of their new high-level national security dialogue. Source
  • Coal on the rise in China, U.S., India after major 2016 drop

    Economic CTV News
    BEIJING -- The world's biggest coal users -- China, the United States and India -- have boosted coal mining in 2017, in an abrupt departure from last year's record global decline for the heavily polluting fuel and a setback to efforts to rein in climate change emissions. Source
  • Ontario needs innovative skills and apprenticeship training:study

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - A new study concludes that Ontario needs to get far more creative in order to properly prepare young people for jobs of the future. The study was commissioned by the Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance which represents companies that employ more than 400,000 skilled trades people across the province. Source
  • Air Miles raises cap on in-store redemptions effective Monday

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - Air Miles is raising some of the recent daily limits imposed on redeeming points for in-store purchases from retailers. The customer loyalty program sent notices during the weekend that says the new daily limit on Air Miles Cash redemptions, in most cases, has been raised to $100. Source
  • Portugal airline chief fears increasing drone near-misses

    Economic CTV News
    LISBON, Portugal -- Portugal's national airline chief said Monday he is considering asking authorities to order that all drones in the country be grounded, following a series of near-misses with commercial aircraft. If drones "keep entering airspace, we're going to call for them to be grounded," TAP Air Portugal President Fernando Pinto said. Source