The Miami Seaquarium is a 38 acre oceanarium on Virginia Key, situated in Biscayne Bay of Miami-Dade County, Florida, in close proximity to downtown Miami. Opened by Fred D. Coppock and Captain W.B. Gray on September 24, 1955 it is the oldest operational oceanarium in the United States.
From 1963 through 1967, eighty-eight episodes of the 1960s TV show Flipper and two movies starring Flipper were filmed at the Miami Seaquarium. From 1963 to 1991, the Seaquarium also had the Miami Seaquarium Spacerail, which was the first hanging monorail in the United States.
In 2014 Miami Seaquarium was bought by Palace Entertainment.
In 2022, the Miami Seaquarium was acquired by The Dolphin Company, which currently owns and operates the park.
U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections[edit | edit source]
The Miami Seaquarium was cited on September 27 for multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, according to the latest federal inspection report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The violations include:
- An incident where a dolphin bit a patron’s hand during an interactive handling session.
- Endangering a dolphin who ingested plastic and a chunk of concrete in a deteriorating tank.
- Holding a manatee alone in an enclosure lacking shade.
- Allowing a dolphin to sustain rib injuries, likely from being confined and unable to escape from incompatible tankmates.
- Failing to have appropriate veterinary oversight. This was evidenced by trainers being instructed not to contact the veterinarian and numerous veterinarian and vet tech positions being left vacant.
Miami-Dade County issued a notice of default to the Miami Seaquarium in November 2023, demanding repairs to address issues identified in the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection report. The county, which leases the waterfront site to the Seaquarium, stated that these violations also breach the terms of their lease agreement. The Seaquarium has been given 45 days to rectify the issues, as mentioned in the letter sent by the county's Parks department. The specific violations requiring correction were not detailed in the letter. The Seaquarium pays an annual average of around $2.5 million to lease the site from the county. Additionally, the park has faced scrutiny from Miami-Dade's building inspectors for violations related to its aging sea-mammal tanks and surrounding infrastructure, including the pool that housed the recently deceased killer whale, Lolita.
Captive animals at Miami Sequarium[edit | edit source]
Orcas[edit | edit source]
Dolphins[edit | edit source]
Manatees[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
- Hugo - orca
- Lolita - orca
- Lolita Slave to Entertainment - film
- List of deceased captive orcas
- List of living captive orcas
- List of dolphins in captivity
[edit | edit source]
- USDA Inspection Report Findings Memo - Miami Seaquarium Miami Dade County
- USDA report reveals disturbing details about animal health at Miami Seaquarium Local 10