Defending Orcas: No More Captivity
Captain Paul Watson and Tiffany Humphrey
Published January 31, 2022
About Defending Orcas
This book provides an educational and sobering look at the conditions orcas face by being captured or born into captivity. Young people will learn how orcas (who are part of the same biological order as whales) thrive at sea and have highly evolved forms of communication that are unique to each orca family.
The book delves into the history of capturing orcas for sale to marine parks that then attempt to tame and train the orcas to provide entertainment to park visitors. Readers will find stories about individual orcas―some of them world famous―and discover how difficult it is for them to adapt to captivity.
Several years ago, I watched the documentary Blackfish. I was pretty shocked about some of the information contained in the film. When I received an opportunity to review DEFENDING ORCAS and learn more about what’s happening to Orcas and how to help protect them, I knew I wanted to read the book.
The author of DEFENDING ORCAS also the founder of the group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, whose mission is to protect all marine wildlife. The book discusses the organizations efforts with regard to Orcas and their goal to return all Orcas to the wild or, where that’s not possible, to enclosures which more closely mimic the spaces in which they naturally live.
Reading this book, I learned a bit about where different Orca populations live and some facts about Orcas in the wild. Much of the content of the book is devoted to discussing how damaging captivity is to the wild populations and to the animals who are in captivity themselves. There are also brief biographies of some of the Orcas at different marine parks and what has happened to them.
All in all, I really appreciated reading this book. It affirmed a lot of what I already believe about Orcas belonging in the wild. It gave me some new information about Orcas as well. Some details about Orcas being injured or dying due to circumstances of captivity might be tough for sensitive readers. However, I think it’s a compelling book that makes a powerful case for no more captivity for Orcas.
Readers interested in conservation will also enjoy MAKING WAVES by Albert Bates, which explores the effect of pollution on marine life.
Recommended for Ages 12 to 14.
The book is about Orcas.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
The book shows several images of orcas caught in nets, lying dead on beaches, with harpoons sticking out of them. There are also some descriptions of injuries and deaths of orcas in captivity.
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of DEFENDING ORCAS in exchange for my honest review.