SeaWorld Stop Pressuring OSHA to have Closed Hearings
  • Petitioned Hilda L. Solis

This petition was delivered to:

Secretary of Labor
Hilda L. Solis

SeaWorld Stop Pressuring OSHA to have Closed Hearings

    1. Barbara Napoles
    2. Petition by

      Barbara Napoles

      Miami, FL

September 2011


On September 19, 2011, a federal hearing began to determine how SeaWorld should be held accountable for the death of a trainer in February 2010. An OSHA investigation that found that the theme park's protections for trainers were inadequate. SeaWorld attempted to obtain an order for the hearing that would have closed its proceedings and sealed the trial.

Dolphin activists protested the order, urging the Dept of Labor to keep the trial open, not only to ensure that justice was served for the trainer who lost her life, but also to expose the reality behind conditions at SeaWorld parks. More than 3,300 members joined the fight against closing the hearings. SeaWorld's order was not granted and the proceedings opened with public witnesses inside the courtroom and protesters against SeaWorld outside the courthouse.


"The fallout began on Monday, August 23, when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued citations to Seaworld for apparently placing profit above employee safety. These citation opened the floodgates for further legal action by Dawn Branchau's family, terminated employees and witnesses. It has also sparked a growing number of former SeaWorld employees to speak out about the culture of working with Orcas and the secrecy that shrouds the Marine Mammal Entertainment Industry.

Triggering the flurry of claims was stunning announcement that OSHA fined SeaWorld, Orlando, $75,000 for safey violations including the maximum of $70,000 in penalty for the "willfull" act of knowingly placing its employees at risk.

According to a reliable source, Federal Judge Ken S. Welsch is preparing to sign a “Proposed Protective Order” for the Sea World vs OSHA hearing scheduled to begin 25 April 2011, in Orlando, FL, effectively sealing off this case forever. 
Although this order has not yet been signed, it is expected to be next week. This order has been drafted, visualized, and is awaiting his signature, pending approval of the Secretary of Labor.

This order will bar the public from participating in this hearing, and seal all content, including expert witness testimony, and documentation describing the suboptimal conditions associated with orca captivity. Expert witnesses who participate in this trial (if this attempt to seal is successful) will not be allowed to discuss or write anything about it, publicly.
It will also prevent content from being used for future litigation or investigation, essentially closing it, akin to the John Sillick tragedy of November of 1987. This is a call for action.

Via the Orca Project

ps. You can also leave a message at the Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis facebook page:

Recent signatures


    1. Victory - the hearings are open to the public.

      Barbara Napoles
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you to everyone that signed this and its your victory also. Without each of you this would not have been made possible. From the bottom of my heart...Many thanks, the power of a petition is amazing. I will be heading to Sanford also.

    2. SeaWorld-OSHA hearing to take place in Seminole County

      Barbara Napoles
      Petition Organizer

      The proceedings, in which SeaWorld is challenging OSHA's findings following an investigation into the February 2010 death of killer-whale trainer Dawn Brancheau, will open at 9 a.m. Monday in the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center in Sanford.

    3. OSHA Sues SeaWorld Over Trainer Safety.

      Barbara Napoles
      Petition Organizer

      In court documents, OSHA questions SeaWorld about why they gave a special "Tilli Talk" to new employees and why the theme park cautioned trainers that anyone who got in the water with Tilikum would most likely be hurt, or even killed. SeaWorld denies

    4. Reached 3,000 signatures
    5. Stephanie Feldstein
      Petition Organizer

      The hearings have been postponed until September 19th. Help make sure they don't take place behind closed doors!

    6. Reached 2 signatures
    7. What Does SeaWorld Not Want You To Know?

      Stephanie Feldstein
      Petition Organizer

      After SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by one of the park's captive orcas — a bull named Tilikum — the U.S. Occupational and Safety Health Administation fined SeaWorld $75,000 for "three safety violations, including one classified as...

    8. Reached 500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • jaki song BROSSARD, CANADA
      • over 2 years ago

      It is obvious that these mammals are stressed in captivity! It is time to take the responsibility and set them free!!!! Sea world! has been getting away through all the loop holes of the laws and rules too many times!!! They have been showing that they don't care! How many of these beautiful intelligent animals has to die??? Signed and shared the petition and I hope many will join up here.

    • saam katz LITTLETON, CO
      • over 2 years ago


    • Maeda Hiroko CHIBA, JAPAN
      • over 2 years ago

      Please keep harmony with nature,animals and human right.This earth belong to not only human but also animals and plants,other living things.Humans should not commit crime anymore.

    • Maeda Kimiko CHIBA, JAPAN
      • over 2 years ago

      Humans are selfish and irresponsible.We should keep company with enviroment,animals and humas right.We should respect other nature.Please don't commit human's crime anymore.I am against animal and nature's abusing.

    • Linda Fleming ROCHESTER, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      If you were proud of what you're doing, you wouldn't need closed door hearings. So? What are you so ashamed of?


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