AWI Statement: SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby Departure Should Not Derail Company’s Progress

Photo from Flickr by Cyrus Bulsara

Washington, DC—SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc., announced today the resignation of CEO Joel Manby. The announcement came with the release of the company’s fourth quarter and fiscal 2017 results, which showed a loss of $20.4 million in revenue.

In reaction to this development, Dr. Naomi Rose, AWI marine mammal scientist, issued the following statement:

AWI regrets the departure of Joel Manby as CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. During his tenure as CEO, Mr. Manby ended the breeding of the company’s captive orcas and toned down the theatrical elements of the circus-like orca and dolphin shows.

While he needed to do much more, including set a goal of retiring the orcas to seaside sanctuaries, Mr. Manby clearly understood that the world is increasingly less accepting of keeping these large, wide-ranging, intelligent beings in concrete tanks. We strongly urge his replacement, John Reilly, to maintain the forward progress that Mr. Manby began and not reverse course by sending its animals to theme parks abroad.

SeaWorld’s cetaceans deserve retirement in sanctuaries. The company should strive to be a theme park that thrills and teaches people through technology and not rely on circus-like shows featuring captive, living animals.


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