Marine park and state regulators reach settlement over orca safety and training program

Marine park and state regulators reach settlement over orca safety and training program

Sacramento – State regulators and SeaWorld have agreed to settle safety citations alleging that the marine park violated work safety laws by failing to protect its trainers when working closely with killer whales.

The agreement dismisses four work safety citations and related fines of $25,770. These citations resulted from an inspection conducted by Cal/OSHA following a complaint.

The marine park is required to adhere to safety guidelines for whale and trainers interaction such as swimming under, surfing and standing on orcas.

In 2010, SeaWorld banned “in-water” interaction between trainers and killer whales following the death of a 40-year-old trainer during a show in Orlando.

In a statement released on Tuesday, SeaWorld through a statement said they are pleased with Cal/OSHA’s decision to dismiss all citations concerning the company’s orca safety and training program.

“SeaWorld welcomes Cal/OSHA’s decision to withdraw its citation and issue a special order based largely on SeaWorld’s existing safety program,” the statement says.

“The decision has been approved by the administrative law judge and the parties are just waiting for the issuance of the order. This decision will allow SeaWorld to continue our critical animal care practices and trainer safety training methods.

“These techniques are important to the safety of our trainers and veterinary staff as well as the health and well-being of the orcas in our care. It is through this care and interaction that our zoological team can continue their vital work to enhance the understanding of this species and help protect orcas in the wild, as well as inspire the next generation of conservationists, marine biologists and animal care experts.”