Protests at SeaWorld continue despite new plans

SAN DIEGO - Despite SeaWorld's announcement of a major expansion for its orcas, many animal activists protested outside of the park's entrance on Sunday.

The protesters held signs and chanted their anger toward SeaWorld San Diego, and some told 10News the theme park's plans to build larger tanks for its killer whales is not enough.

On Friday, SeaWorld announced it would nearly double the size of its orca exhibit at its parks in San Diego, Florida and Texas.

Park officials said the so-called "Blue World Project" will include constructing a 10-million-gallon orca environment, which is set to open to the public at SeaWorld San Diego in 2018. Similar environments at the park's in Orlando and San Antonio are also on the works.

SeaWorld is also promising $10 million for research.

The announcement comes in the same week SeaWorld revealed its second-quarter earnings report. The report showed that park attendance was flat nationwide and revenue is down.

Activist Taj Waggaman said, "I actually correlated it to awareness and the public pressure that's been sustained since the release of 'Blackfish.'"

In a statement in response to the latest protest, SeaWorld San Diego officials told 10News:

"For SeaWorld, there is no higher priority than the health and welfare of our animals, and any claims to the contrary made by these radicals are simply wrong. The truth is that our killer whales are happy and healthy, and thrive in our care."
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