According to the Los Angeles Times, Governor Jerry Brown signed a new measure on Tuesday that outlaws the captive breeding of killer whales. The legislation also bans the use of orcas in entertainment shows.
Beginning in June of 2017, the marine mammals will only be allowed to be displayed for educational purposes in California. SeaWorld and other parks in the state will no longer be allowed to catch orcas and keep them captive for breeding purposes. Corporations or individuals who break the law set by Bill SB839 can be fined up to $100,000.
The bill’s author, Democratic Assemblyman Richard Bloom from Santa Monica, did leave space in the legislation for educational institutions with plans of rereleasing orcas the option to capture whales for research and rehabilitation.
“The bill does allow for SeaWorld to rescue and rehabilitate stranded orcas, with the goal of returning them to the wild, as is the case with all animals we rescue,” SeaWorld said in a statement. “And, if the federal government determines that the orca is not releasable, that animal could stay in SeaWorld’s care.”
SeaWorld also mentioned the new California ban is in line with future plans the parks already have, reports The Independent.