Families visiting SeaWorld will no longer see trainers being ferried across the water on the backs, or standing on the snouts, of two bottlenose dolphins.
Those two tricks, the latter known as "dolphin surfing," are being discontinued, according to a SeaWorld letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
SeaWorld had been in a tussle with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals over the practices. PETA filed a shareholder resolution to include at the Sea World annual meeting to end dolphin surfing. SeaWorld initially fought to exclude the proposition from the meeting but changed course and decided to abandon the tricks.
In a Feb. 1 letter to the SEC, SeaWorld said trainers currently do not engage in dolphin surfing and that standing on the dolphin snouts occurs only at its San Diego park. It said SeaWorld plans to move away from that trick entirely within the next few months.
Separately, SeaWorld has also reached a $65 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit alleging that it misled investors about the impact of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish" on park attendance. The film claimed SeaWorld killer whales suffer in captivity. A trial was set for late February.