New Seaquarium CEO to Face Scrutiny Over Orcas at Annual Meeting

PETA Will Urge José Díaz to Free Lolita and Other Marine Mammals From Cramped Tanks

For Immediate Release:
March 27, 2019

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Madrid – As a pair of PETA supporters dressed as orcas stand outside the annual meeting of Parques Reunidos—the parent company of the Miami Seaquarium and of Marineland Antibes in France—a PETA representative inside the meeting will call on the company’s newly reappointed CEO, José Díaz, to move the orcas at the parks to seaside sanctuaries.

PETA will point out in the meeting that in the five years between Díaz’s departure from the company and his reappointment as CEO, the world has gained a new awareness of the ways orcas suffer in marine parks. Lolita—the only orca at the Miami Seaquarium—has spent nearly half a century in a cramped tank, where she’s been without the companionship of any member of her own species since 1980, when her tankmate, Hugo, died after ramming his head into the tank wall. Another four orcas are imprisoned at Marineland, where at least 12 others have died since 1970.

“José Díaz’s goal is to provide customers with the entertainment that they want at a price that they’re happy to pay, but today’s public realizes that it’s the animals who pay the price in marine parks,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the Miami Seaquarium’s parent company to move Lolita and the four other orcas at its parks to sanctuaries, where they’ll be able to feel the ocean currents, dive deep, and have some semblance of a natural life.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a supremacist worldview. The group purchased stock in Parques Reunidos in 2017 specifically so that it could influence management decisions from the inside and liaise with other shareholders.

PETA’s full shareholder question is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind