Thank you. I agree captures were sad. There were some terrible things done to the orcas in those days. There were some terrible things done to the orcas for decades before that. Before killer whales became a mainstay in the aquarium industry, they were seen as vermin and were shot on sight by fishermen, and were documented as being used as target practice by naval ships during training drills, both of these things sometimes eradicating entire pods. People were terrified of orcas back then. They were as scared of orcas as people are of sharks today, if not more so. Both of those things happened up into the 1960s. SeaWorld has not captured any orcas (or dolphins to the best of my knowledge) since the late 1970s, before capture and importation were made illegal in the early 1980s. Those particular animals are now approaching 40 years old, one in her 50s.
Blackfish never mentioned how critically endangered the Southern Resident population is due to pollution, there not being enough food (salmon) to go around, and boat noise disturbing the animals. Other populations elsewhere in the seas are healthier and more plentiful, but Blackfish didn't mention that, either oddly enough. People like to get all dreamy about the idea of orca freedom, when wild life for these animals is just not all fun and games even in healthier populations. We don't even know if orcas are capable of understanding the human construct of freedom. Wild and captivity are just different and one isn't somehow better than the other. Not all aquariums are created equal, but SeaWorld is the best in the world and the aquarium that other aquariums in other parts of the world reach out to for training and veterinary consultations. Cetaceans are highly adaptive animals, and the ones at SeaWorld are thriving and receiving the best veterinary care and restaurant quality fish. Those born into the facility don't have any memory or even have any idea what the ocean is like. I believe those that are wild need to stay wild and those in captivity need to stay in captivity.
Sorry for the essay, I'm quite passionate on the topic.