This talk will cover the various aspects of captive enclosures and how orcas (also known as killer whales) are maintained in marine theme parks and aquariums that have a negative impact on their welfare. It will refer to the latest research on, and knowledge of, orca biology to make the argument that this species cannot thrive in captivity.
Naomi Rose is the marine mammal scientist for the Animal Welfare Institute in Washington, DC. She campaigns against cetacean live capture, trade, and captivity and has been a member of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) Scientific Committee since 2000, where she participates in the subcommittees on environmental concerns and whale watching. She has authored or co-authored over 45 scientific papers and articles for animal protection publications, as well as chapters in several books. She has participated in various conferences, workshops, meetings, and task forces at the international, national and state level. She has testified before the U.S. Congress four times, at the Canadian Parliament, and at several state legislative and regulatory hearings. Her work was featured in the 2012 non-fiction book Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity, by David Kirby, and she gave a TedX Talk in Bend, Oregon in April 2015 on captive orca welfare. She received a Ph.D. in biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1992, where her dissertation examined the social dynamics of wild orcas. She has worked in the marine mammal advocacy field for 25 years.