Ever since I saw The Cove my thoughts on keeping dolphins in captivity have changed. When I was on holiday this summer most of the people wanted to go to a sea aquarium to see them and take pictures with them. I didn’t feel like going and enjoyed a day at the beach. Blackfish is not about dolphins, but it is about what goes on in places like Sea World, in particular in regards to the killer whales. These huge animals are impressive to look at and have been trained extensively to perform all different types of tricks, but that is the only side the public sees of the killer whales. When one of their trainers, Dawn Brancheau (who had a lot of experience and had worked with the animals for years) was killed by one of them the public only saw a news story and a statement by Sea World that the cause of the death was a trainer error. Blackfish investigates if this really was the case and questions the practise of keeping these animals in captivity.
Blackfish dives (no pun intended) into the history of killer whales in captivity and shows that these animals were taken away from their parents when they were still young and swimming in the ocean. They were kept in very tiny places and spent most of their time in confined spaces. Killer whales are very social animals who live in groups. They have their own way of doing things and each group even has their own language. When you put killer whales from different groups together they don’t always get along and even can attack each other.
What really impressed me was to see how many former Sea World trainers were interviewed for this film. They mostly talk negatively about their former employer and question the information they were given, not only about the animals, but also about incidents which occurred through they years. Dawn Brancheau wasn’t the only person to get killed by these animals and as this documentary shows many other incidents took place, not always lethal, but very frightening to see. It makes a strong case against keeping these animals captive and will change opinions on places they are kept. One which only made my opinion about them that much stronger.