SeaWorld under investigation by two federal agencies

Sea World subject of federal probes related to CNN’s ‘Blackfish’ documentary

Sea World subject of federal probes related to CNN’s ‘Blackfish’ documentary

A newspaper is reporting that two federal agencies are demanding records from SeaWorld.

The investigations are looking into "disclosures and public statements" made by company executives in August 2014 or earlier "regarding the impact of the "Blackfish" documentary" and SeaWorld's stock, according to the public filing.

Both the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC issued subpoenas on the subject.

For a while after the 2013 release of the documentary "Blackfish", which excoriated SeaWorld over its treatment of killer whales, the theme park company refused to talk about the film or discounted the idea that it had any impact. After last years Blackfish, a widely seen documentary about SeaWorld's whales and the trainers injured or killed by them, a California assembly member proposed a law banning killer whale shows in San Diego.

To read this article in one of Houston's most-spoken languages, click on the button below. "We would note that the filing states, 'The Company has cooperated with these government inquiries and intends to continue to cooperate with any government requests or inquiries'".

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Earlier this month, shareholders voted not to re-elect chairman David D'Alessandro amid fallout over a controversial bonus payout.

In response, SeaWorld's Board of Directors formed a Special Committee to advise and assist the company regarding the investigations. The chairman offered to resign immediately after the meeting, but the board chose to keep D'Alessandro through the end of the year, when he'll step down, the company said in Friday's filing. Since the documentary was first released SeaWorld has maintained that "Blackfish" hasn't impacted its business, but has contented that public perception of marine mammal captivity has changed.

Spokespeople for the DOJ were unavailable for comment Friday evening. The company says the orcas it has in captivity now will be its last.

SeaWorld has fought back.