Example Of Sea World Case Analysis: Movie Blackfish Movie Review
The movie Blackfish documents the life of Tilikum, a killer whale that has been held captive in the Sea World Marine Park. Among whales that exist in wild environments, the orca calves usually stay with their mothers for the whole of the lives. However, at Sea World, the orca calves, and their mothers are separated much earlier so that the mothers can graduate into breeding machines and produce orca calves that will be future performers at this Marine Park (Blackfish, 2013). In the documentary, the young whales are in anguish as they are forcibly separated from their mothers. Their mothers are powerless to do anything, and they degenerate into despair as their young orca calves are taken away. Crucial matriarchal bonds are severed when baby whales are snatched from their mothers and transferred to different parks or sold. In addition to this awful treatment, SeaWorld Marine Park failed miserably to provide the appropriate environment conducive to the survival of the orcas. Wild whales often swim up to one hundred miles in a single day, and they can also dive to depths of even 1000 feet. However, Sea World had installed tiny tanks that fit the description of concrete bathtubs (Blackfish, 2013). In such an environment, all the whales can do is endlessly swim in circular motions so as to amuse tourists, in their own diluted urine. The result of this level of captivity is the reduced life span of the orcas. The captive whales live for only a mere fraction of their mean lifespan.
In the movie Blackfish, there is a part involving a female animal trainer riding killer whale. It presumed that the female involved was Samantha Berg, and she narrates of her experience at Shamu Stadium as an animal trainer, specifically offering direct training to Tilikum. Moreover, the death of Ms. Dawn Brancheau is associated with her attempted swimming with the killer whale, Tilikum (Blackfish, 2013) The movie paints a picture of a company that endangers the life of its employee by enlisting them to be trainers of killer whales.
Additionally, the documentary provides more information about Sea World facilities. A total 37 orcas have met their death at Sea World facilities in the U.S. The causes of their deaths include intestinal gangrene and severe trauma. Moreover, 62 bottlenose dolphins have died at parks owned by Sea World in a period spanning ten years (Blackfish, 2013). One orca at Sea World Marine Park, who is called Corky, and who was separated from her family in 1969 when she was three-years-old, has suffered seven forced pregnancies (Blackfish, 2013). All of her calves die before their seventh week and her fetus she last bore was discovered at the bottom of the water tank she was holed in. It is natural for wild orcas to be devoted to their calves. However, holding them captive can stress them leading to mothers attacking and killing their newborn calves. The foregoing analysis of the movie underscores the problems that are prevalent in the sea park industry and exposes the relationship between man and nature, and how a relationship founded on an exploitative foundation can be disastrous to nature. The exposing of the cruelty meted to orcas in the Sea World marine parks in the documentary essentially throws the company into the abyss of business putting the decision makers at this company under pressure to tackle the blind exploitation of nature for corporate profits. The marine parks are poised to lose many tourists who wish to take their vacation there, and this will lead to a drying up of cash flow to the company. The expose could also lead to environmentalists launching suits in courts to demand prosecution of the company and its management for the blatant cruelty meted on the orcas. This will potentially lead to payment of large sums of money as fines for their negligence of the orcas welfare. The situation paints a gloomy picture for Sea World marine parks, but on the flipside, it provides an opportunity for the company to be innovative, think outside the box, make decisions that will have far-reaching effects, and develop a new business model that is in line with environmental requirements and which will help the company weather the current storm they are in. The company can intelligently exploit various opportunities available to it so that it can lift itself from the bottom level it has been thrown into. The strategic issue, in this case, is for the company to ditch its current business model and launch new business lines. It should then infuse them with intensive strategic marketing and image reclamation in order to get back to its previous high position in the marine parks industry by winning back tourists.
Strategic Analysis/Potential Options – A General Environment Analysis
The marine parks industry is fraught with many challenges. The challenges range from potential pollution of the sea environment by tourists, the extinction of rare sea creatures, illegal fishing in the marine parks, hard to domesticate wild sea creatures, hard to fulfill conditions necessary for adopted wild animals to survive in, and exposure of the marine parks to continuous silting which requires constant removal to maintain the required depth of the parks. In most of the Sea World marine parks, the natural conditions that wild orcas were familiar with had not been put in place. Moreover, wanton cruelty was meted on the whales without putting in mind the welfare of these animals. This is directly in violation of the environmental rules that prohibit cruel treatment of wild sea creatures. The company relegated the animal’s well-being and propped up blind pursuit of business and earning profits. Strategically, the welfare of sea creatures such as whales should come ahead of profits in order to ensure that the business is sustainable in this industry. The animals are the ones that attract tourists who pay entrance fees thus earning the company income.
.The general environment analysis points to the possibility of a company dealing in marine parks to house different kinds of animals under a single park to increase the number of tourists they can attract. A variety of animals within a single park will border well with tourists enchanted with the idea of seeing numerous kinds of animals and enjoying their antics all under one roof. In addition to this, a company will have great convenience to discontinue housing any kind of animals that would show inability to adapt to the conditions. Effectively, a company will be in a position to abide by existing environmental conditions that spell out how different kinds of animals should be handled and the environments they can be transferred to. Any violation will be easily identified, and the animals under threat can immediately be transferred to other parks that meet the specifications or be let to swim back into the sea.
The parent endangering of animal trainer’s lives and the death of some of them due to coarse interaction with killer animals can be avoided by studying the animals’ antics, behavior patterns before any direct interaction with trainers can be approved. Dangerous animals should be kept away from people just in case they cause accidental deaths. The safety of both the trainers and to a large extension the animals cannot be wished away.
Initially, the natural conditions of the marine animals should be researched and understood before the company engages in any establishment of a marine park. This will go a long way in ensuring the easy adaptability of the sea creatures to the new man-made conditions. Moreover, the life cycles of the aquatic creatures will be maintained for the long term and they will continue to be a great attraction for tourists for the unforeseeable future ensuring continuous earning of income by the proprietors of the parks.
Sea World marine parks should ditch their focus on holding orcas in small tanks and shift their business towards holding new, different kinds of animals that will fit the small tanks environment. This is the initial step in ensuring that the welfare of the animals takes the first priority in the establishment of the parks. By doing this, the company will be on its way to abiding by the environmental requirements. For example, they can substitute whales with crocodiles and create beautiful crocodile sanctuaries in their parks. Moreover, they can introduce fish breeding in the parks and encourage hobby fishing at a fee by the tourists interested. The introduced animals will ensure sustainability of the parks and adherence to environmental stipulations affecting marine environments.
The company should direct its energy towards reclaiming its battered image. First, the management should pay up any fines imposed on the company for its negligence in handling of orcas, and apologize for its unlawful activities. Afterward, they have to indicate their commitment to adhering to lawful business activities that border well with environmental concerns of protecting marine environments. The company can do this by starting a project that will be focused on ensuring that natural environments of sea creatures are not compromised by blind financial pursuit. More specifically, they can focus on protecting whales in the areas they operate. With a well-defined corporate social responsibility goal, they will be on track to getting partners who can support them in such a project. The multiplier effect of this will be reclamation of the company’s battered image and eventual propping up of a brand that will be attractive to tourists.
Additionally, the marine parks will require intense promotion. To attract tourists, the different offerings in the park should be known to these tourists. This can be done by placing adverts in newspapers, or audio-visual communication means talking about the natural marvels that tourists stand to see and enjoy when they visit the parks. The different activities that the company is involved and which are aimed at ensuring protection of the sea creatures can be included in these adverts so as to send out signals of an environment-sensitive business. In principle, these should be those activities the company is truly engaged in. Providing the image of a business company that is focused on protecting the welfare of animals before earning a profit is important for building the brand of the company.
The SeaWorld marine parks have to acquire the services of highly trained animal trainers so as to ensure safety of both the trainers and the animals. The future trainers should be provided with advanced safety equipment to guarantee them of their safety. Training of animals should be done in an exclusively safe environment to avoid accidents. By being concerned with their employees’ well-being, the company will saved the wrath of labor unions that clamor for employee safety.
Moreover, Sea World Marine Parks must come up with intensive and strategic marketing of the different tourist attractions in the parks. Marketing is very crucial in making the business known and promoting the different offerings at the parks. Strategic marketing entails promoting the tourist attractions in the parks to groups of people who enjoy them the most. The company can start a television channel specifically for promoting marine park tourism and include the element of conservation of the marine environment. This will enable the marine parks managed by the company to be projected to a large size of the population who may develop the interest of touring them.
The preceding recommendations will be critical in ensuring the company does not wither off, that it reclaims its image, props up its brand and ensures that more people visit its parks, all culminating in the collection of higher revenues. The documentary revealed the rot at Sea World thus technically putting the company on its death bed. The strategic issue was ensuring the company gets back on course after the humiliating expose through adaptation of various strategic options. The recommendations are well-thought out and actionable hence if adopted; they can easily lift the company from the abyss it is in. It is necessary that the company ditches the business that has got it embroiled in a scandal. Image reclamation and brand building are necessary for restoration of the company to its former self. The value of strategic marketing cannot be wished away because it will be the first step in projecting the company to the consumers of its products.
Blackfish. Dir. Gabriela Cowperthwaite. 2013. Magnolia Pictures, 2013. Film.
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