I was so hoping they'd do that so I could make an accurate decision about the issue after hearing both sides.
I was initially for them turning the current Shamu show structures into a habitat for non-releasable whales that guests could watch, but reading this changes that. My two biggest issues were the health of the whales (dorsal fins flopped over, lifespan, ect.) and separating families. Here Seaworld just flat out stated that they don't separate calves and mothers, putting that issue to rest. Now here's where it starts to get gray for me, health. I believe that these conditions Blackfish speaks of (dorsal collapse, failing to live full lifespan) are a direct result of their enclosures, if they exist, but Seaworld says that they're working on improving them, and if they're working on it, then I feel this issue, if it exists, is just part of a transitional thing for them and in 10-20 years, they'll be living to be 100.
When I went to BGT this past fall, which is in the same chain as Seaworld, I got a vibe that they really cared for the animals. They didn't run the Cheetahs for some reason, probably because they weren't up to it or something, and I got to see them feed the elephants at Nairobi and they seemed to be having a heck of a time breaking the corn in half with their trunks. I got the vibe that they really cared about their animals and if they feel they can give them the conditions they deserve, the Shamu shows should continue if the whales have fun doing it. Blackfish even included a clip of a trainer saying that a whale wasn't doing it because they had to, they were doing it because they want to.
I've always wanted to go to SWO and maybe do a San Antonio trip involving SFFT and SWSA. Manta looks fab, and Steel Eel looks fab. Really hope they can push through and restore what they've lost in attendance, if any.
-2012 "I was wrong" Jarrett