The International Marine Mammal Project joined several organizations and individual scientists in a lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) over the agency's position that it does not have the lawful authority to enforce permit provisions requiring the submission of necropsy reports and veterinary records of the deceased orcas Tilikum, Kasatka, and Kyara.Tilikum and Kasatka, two orcas featured in the 2013 documentary Blackfish, and Tilikum’s granddaughter, Kyara, all died in 2017 of reported lung infections. The permits that were issued to import Tilikum and Kasatka specify that SeaWorld must submit these records to the NMFS upon the orcas' deaths—a stipulation that, in Tilikum's case, also applies to his progeny, including Kyara. The NMFS did not obtain these records and now claim, without legal justification, that the1994 amendments to the Marine Mammal Protection Act voided those provisions. As a result of the agency's position, the public is denied access to vital information about the impacts of captivity on orcas, as well as data that can inform the rescue and treatment of injured or ill marine mammals in the wild.
Why did SeaWorld killer whales die? Animal acitivists sue for release of necropsy reports
Animal activities sue for SeaWorld necropsy reports while Orlando company faces other lawsuits
Animal advocates sue federal agency over necropsy reports for dead SeaWorld orcas
Trump Administration Sued Over SeaWorld Necropsy Reports for Captive Orcas
Complaint filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia over NMFS' failure to enforce certain permit provisions following the deaths of Tilikum, Kasatka, and Kyara.