About orcas in captivity

What does it Orcazine?

To avoid misunderstandings and rumors, we as editors, summarize in a number of key points, what we think about orcas in captivity and how we deal with it in Orcazine.

Our opinion:

  • Orcas do not belong in captivity. That goes for many large animals. We don’t approve the capture of wild orcas for the purpose of keeping them in captivity and we think it is not desirable to breed orcas in captivity to maintain this captive population.
  • The orcas living in captivity must have the best possible care and parks should strive to give them much more space, more enrichment and safety. The welfare of the orcas should come before any commercial interests. Thus, we are opposed to keeping orcas solitary and the separation of mothers and infants for commercial reasons.
  • Marine parks should shift their focus from entertainment to true education and protection, as already happens in many zoos. In this way, an orca in captivity provides fascination and respect for the entire species. Visitors should have the possibility to observe orcas all day, not only during shows.
  • Many people only have the opportunity to see orcas in captivity. When they see an orca in real life they hopefully will love it, they want to learn more about it and they will do something for the protection of orcas in the wild.
  • Releasing orcas back in the wild, is often impossible or (and) very expensive. That money could be better spent on the protection of wild orcas.
  • Marine parks and researchers should work together to make sure the animals in captivity are afforded a better life while protecting the wild orcas. Parks maintaining orcas should be encouraged (financially) to contribute the research on wild orcas.


  • Orcazine is independent and in no way affiliated with an organization or institution
  • Orcazine will not promote captivity or the anti-captivity lobby. Our position is realistic, neutral and with a nuanced view. This reflects the contents of Orcazine.
  • Orcazine writes mainly about orcas in the wild but will also include topics dealing with captivity.
  • Orcazine strives for cooperation between all institutions and persons dealing with orcas. The only way to improve the lives of orcas in captivity is by having an open, honest and trusting dialogue with each other, and to work together to find solutions, as difficult as that may be at times.
  • Orcazine is created by people who are fascinated by orcas and want increase protection and knowledge of the species and its habitat.

In short, is our stance of orcas in captivity. We know that sometimes it is very difficult to make an objective evaluation. Marine parks and anti-captivity organizations each have their own, perhaps selective interpretation of the facts that can result in miscommunication and people do not just agree with each other. Our above opinion is based on our own intuition. But especially on the vast knowledge and experience from many respected people who have dedicate their lives to research of orcas and who like to share it respectfully with everyone who loves orcas, in whatever situation they may find themselves.

It is not possible for us to satisfy everyone, because there are such divergent opinions about captivity. We respect different opinions and hope that future readers will respect our position and will also enjoy the magazine.

The editors of Orcazine,

Astrid van Ginneken, Annemieke Podt and Leonard Boekee


  1. Lots of helpful information. I have bookmarked your site.

  2. […] Captivity of orcas is a difficult topic in which opinions are varying greatly. Do you want to know what Orcazine’s opinion about captive orca is? Check this page. […]

  3. Hicham says:

    Hi John,So sorry not to have replied to your inqruiy sooner. We would love to see your photos, as would other orca researchers. Our email address is our postal address is Box 510 Alert Bay BC V0N 1A0. It would be great if you are able to send us some images via email, or put them on a disk send them to us by regular mail.We’re sure your photos would also be of interest to DFO researchers and suggest contacting Jared Towers at . We’re sure he will be happy to see them as well.Thanks again, John, and please accept our apologies for not replying sooner.All our best wishes,Paul Spong Helena Symonds