“Blackfish Bill” AB 2140 Full Text
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY MARCH 28, 2014
California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session
Introduced by Assembly Member Bloom
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Stone)
(Coauthor: Senator Leno)
February 20, 2014
An act to amend Section 701.3 of the Fish and Game Code, relating to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. An act to add Section 4502 to the Fish and Game Code, relating to marine mammals.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST
AB 2140, as amended, Bloom. Department of Fish and Wildlife: deputy director. Marine mammals: protection of orcas: unlawful activities.
(1) Existing law makes it unlawful to take any marine mammal, as defined, except as provided under specified federal laws.
This bill would make it unlawful to hold in captivity, or use, a wild-caught or captive-bred orca, as defined, for performance or entertainment purposes, as defined, to capture in state waters, or import from another state, any orca intended to be used for performance or entertainment purposes, to breed or impregnate an orca in captivity, or to export, collect, or import from another state the semen, other gametes, or embryos of an orca held in captivity for the purpose of artificial insemination, except as provided. The bill would make every person, corporation, or institution that violates those provisions guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $100,000 or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than 6 months, or by both the fine and imprisonment. By creating a new crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Under existing law, the Department of Fish and Wildlife is required to enforce and administer the fish and game laws pursuant to the policies formulated by the Fish and Game Commission. The department is administered by the Director of Fish and Wildlife. There is one deputy director of the department.
This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to the latter provision.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no yes. State-mandated local program: no yes.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
P2 1 SECTION 1.
Section 4502 is added to the Fish and Game Code,
2 to read:
3 4502. (a) It is unlawful for any person to do any of the
5 (1) Hold in captivity, or use, a wild-caught or captive-bred orca
6 for performance or entertainment purposes.
7 (2) Capture in state waters, or import from another state, any
8 orca intended to be used for performance or entertainment
10 (3) Breed or impregnate an orca in captivity.
11 (4) Export, collect, or import from another state the semen,
12 other gametes, or embryos of an orca held in captivity for the
13 purpose of artificial insemination.
14 (b) Every person, corporation, or institution that violates
15 subdivision (a) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction
16 thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred
17 thousand dollars ($100,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail
18 for not more than six months, or by both the fine and imprisonment.
19 (c) (1) This section does not apply to an orca that is held for
20 rehabilitation after a rescue or stranding, or for research purposes.
21 However, an orca that is held for rehabilitation or research
P3 1 purposes shall be returned to the wild whenever possible, and, if
2 return to the wild is not possible, the orca shall be held in a sea
3 pen that is open to the public and not used for performance or
4 entertainment purposes.
5 (2) Orcas held for performance or entertainment purposes prior
6 to the enactment of this section shall be rehabilitated and returned
7 to the wild where possible, subject to any required state or federal
8 permits. If it is not possible to return these orcas to the wild, as
9 determined by the best available science, then these orcas shall
10 be transferred and held in a sea pen that is open to the public and
11 not used for performance or entertainment purposes.
12 (3) Until an appropriate sea pen has been established, captive
13 orcas held in the state may be kept in existing enclosures. Those
14 orcas shall not be exported or used for gametes, or embryos
15 intended for artificial insemination. Where, based on the best
16 available science, it is determined that an orca has the potential
17 to return to the wild under paragraph (2), that orca may be
18 exported from the state to facilitate its rehabilitation in native
19 waters, subject to any required state or federal permits.
20 (d) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the
21 following meanings:
22 (1) “Orca” means a killer whale (Orcinus orca).
23 (2) “Performance or entertainment purposes” includes, but is
24 not limited to, any routinely scheduled public exhibition that is
25 characterized by music or other sound effects, choreographed
26 display or training for that display, or unprotected contact between
27 humans and orcas. Holding of an orca is not, by itself, a
28 performance or entertainment purpose.
29 (3) “Unprotected contact” means physical contact between a
30 human and an orca that occurs in the absence of a protective
31 barrier or distance between the trainer and the orca, unless
32 required for veterinarian veterinary care.
33 (4) “Sea pen” means an in-water enclosure that is anchored to
34 the sea floor, and attached to the shore.
35 (e) The provisions of this section are severable. If any provision
36 of this section or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall
37 not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect
38 without the invalid provision or application.
39 SEC. 2.
No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
40 Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
P4 1 the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
2 district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
3 infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
4 for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
5 the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
6 the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
8 SECTION 1. Section 701.3 of the Fish and Game Code is
9 amended to read:
10 701.3. There shall be one deputy director of the department
11 who shall be a civil executive officer and shall be appointed by
12 the Governor and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The
13 compensation of the deputy director shall be fixed by the director
14 pursuant to law. The deputy director shall have those duties
15 assigned, from time to time, by the director, and shall be
16 responsible to the director for the performance of those duties.
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Ric O’Barry, Dolphin Project Founder & Director has worked on both sides of the captive dolphin issue, making him an invaluable asset in the efforts to end exploitation. He worked for 10 years within the dolphin captivity industry, and has spent the past 40 working against it.
In the 1960s, O’Barry was employed by the Miami Seaquarium, where he captured and trained dolphins, including the five dolphins who played the role of Flipper in the popular American TV-series of the same name. He also trained Hugo, the first orca kept in captivity east of the Mississippi. When Kathy, the dolphin who played Flipper most of the time, died in his arms, O’Barry realized that capturing dolphins and training them to perform silly tricks is simply wrong.
From that moment on, O’Barry knew what he must do with his life. On the first Earth Day, 1970, he launched a searing campaign against the multi-billion dollar dolphin captivity industry and has been going at it ever since.
Over the past 40 years, Ric O’Barry has rescued and rehabilitated dolphins in many countries around the world, including Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, the Bahamas Islands and the United States. He is a leading voice in the fight to end brutal dolphin hunts in Japan, the Solomon Islands, the Faroe Islands, and wherever else they occur.
O’Barry has been recognized by many national and international entities for his dedicated efforts, such as being voted Huffington Post’s 2010 Most Influential Green Game Changer, and being listed on O Magazine’s 2010 Power List – Men We Admire for his “Power of Passion.” O’Barry received an Environmental Achievement Award, presented by the United States Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program. He has done countless interviews with such prestigious news programs as Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, the Mike Huckabee Show, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.
His book Behind the Dolphin Smile was published in 1989; a second book, To Free A Dolphin was published in September 2000. Both of them are about his work and dedication. He is the star of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove and the Animal Planet television series Blood Dolphin$.