The California Coastal Commission on Thursday approved a plan to expand SeaWorld San Diego’s killer-whale tanks as a part of its $100 million Blue World Project, but on the condition that the theme park stops captive whale breeding and restricts the movement of the animals in and out of the park. The expansion would replace its two orca facilities with larger tanks, which include one containing 5.2 million gallons of water and a separate one with 450,000 gallons. SeaWorld officials opposed the conditional decision, arguing that it would mean the park’s population of 11 whales would be the last orcas held there. The vote was hailed as a victory by animal-welfare groups, which have long condemned SeaWorld’s breeding program.
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