Friday, March 14, 2014

Pro Captivity NOAA Scientist and Anti Cap Blackfish Cast Member talk to The Hack

Your Host. The Hack
On Wednesday 12 March 2014, "The Hack" Tom Tilley interviewed two professionals with different opinions on #BlackfishBill AB-2140. Tom's program reaches about forty-thousand listeners and originates from Sydney, Australia. 

His first guest, marine ecologist and NOAA scientist Robert Pitman spoke against the bill, stating that killer whales in captivity are "sacrificial ambassadors" for their species. 

His second guest, Jeffrey Ventre, a medical doctor in Washington State, spoke in favor of the bill, stating that there's no educational value in killer whales doing "bows to Madonna music." 


Should California ban Sea World from using whales for entertainment? We look at the documentary Blackfish and legislation it inspired.

Radio interview here: 

Marine Ecologist

Former SeaWorld Trainer


  1. RE Pitman comments: "OK for them to be sacrificial ambassadors?" To have been literally stolen from their families? To live in tiny concrete pools? To have their calves taken away? To be forced to do stupid tricks in order to eat? To never see, smell or swim in the ocean again? That's ok because they are needed to be ambassadors? His argument makes no sense. Yes, it's terribly cruel, but so what? Without captivity people would never learn about orcas? Does Pitman think the only people who have access to boats to see whales are NOAA scientists???

  2. Teresa. Couldn't agree more! It's concerning coming from a NOAA scientist. As it has been said before, people love dinosaurs but have never seen one. Thx for this comment.

  3. I think to say that we as society require sacrificial members of a species in order to respect them is unbelievably ignorant. I was shocked these words came out of the mouth of an NOAA scientist. How could he see them live their lives in the ocean and accept a single one as a sacrifice. And for what?! I think most of the public does admire and respect the orcas now. They know enough! Send the people who really want to see them to the San Juan islands and other places to support the local sea side tourism economies. I have seen them in both there and in parks. It's in the ocean where you see their true majesty....not mocked and degrated like circuis clowns in pools. Fact is...these animals are not sacrificed for knowledge...there is nothing left to learn from sea world shows. This is now just for sea world to make more $$$$. I wonder if they paid off this "scientist" to say such bull$#%$. Frankly...I am embarrassed for him. He should resign his position for such ridiculous statements....clearly he's lost perspective.

  4. How true. It is in the sea where we learn and appreciate these smart & wide ranging citizens of the planet. Unlike humans, they live in balance with nature, and many spend their entire lives together. It is sad that some (including scientists) feel these animals need to remain incarcerated so tourists can watch them jumping to popular music while eating hot-dogs and popcorn. Thank you for the excellent comments MS. Agreed.

  5. Sacrificial ambassadors? Wow. Well let's pop him in a prison cell for research purposes. There has to be some knowledge to be gleaned for a study on why he thinks that. NOAA has seen deferring to SeaWorld's "expertise" for decades. Pitman's statement only confirms that.

  6. you know we're in trouble when scientists start talking like that! where's his head? hes supposed to be providing us information straight from the wild habitats of these creatures, about how well they do in the wild, the family bonds they form. it's confusing to find him on the opposing side of the argument. I have always felt that the power lies with each and every citizen, we should do our own research and come to our own conclusions. #FreeOrcasNow