SeaWorld Shareholder Resolution Calls For End to ‘Dolphin Surfing’

PETA Urges Park to Prohibit Trainers From Standing on Dolphins' Faces and Riding on Their Backs

For Immediate Release:
December 10, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Orlando, Fla. – Dozens of companies have cut ties with SeaWorld amid swelling public opposition to captive-animal displays, and now PETA, which owns stock in the company, is submitting a shareholder resolution today calling on the company to stop allowing trainers to stand on dolphins’ faces and ride on their backs in cruel circus-style shows.

In the resolution, PETA notes that the dolphin’s lower jaw, which is highly sensitive and crucial for hearing, bears nearly the full force of the trainer’s bodyweight during these stunts. Forcing dolphins to engage in this highly unnatural behavior can cause them stress and may exacerbate injuries caused by their confinement to SeaWorld’s tiny tanks. A veterinary report released earlier this year found that dolphins at all three SeaWorld parks have open wounds and extensive scarring on their faces and bodies.

“It’s unacceptable for smart, sensitive dolphins to be used as surfboards and launch pads in these cruel and demeaning stunts,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “The very least that SeaWorld trainers can do for the miserable animals in their custody is not stand or ride on them, and PETA is taking action to end this practice immediately.”

Dolphins in nature swim up to 60 miles a day, dive to depths of nearly 1,500 feet, and maintain dynamic relationships within a large social network. But at SeaWorld, they’re packed into shallow tanks in which they can’t escape attacks from other frustrated, aggressive dolphins. SeaWorld has eliminated 1,200 positions, and three CEOs have left the company since the release of Blackfish.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—purchased stock in SeaWorld when it first became publicly available in 2013.

PETA’s shareholder resolution is available upon request. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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