The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

Senior Issue 2024
June 5, 2024

Miami-Dade seeks to end lease with Miami Seaquarium

Miami Seaquarium might close its doors permanently after 70 years in operation.
The Miami Seaquarium, days after the death of the orca “Lolita.” The death of the whale has amplified calls for the closure of the aquarium. Beacon Archive.

Miami-Dade County mayor Daniella Levine Cava issued a letter notifying Eduardo Albor, president of The Dolphin Company and owner-operator of the Miami Seaquarium, of the county’s intention to end the lease with the organization. This could mean new ownership of the aquarium located across the street from MAST Academy — or its complete shutdown.

“The County is diligently reviewing all necessary actions to pursue the termination of the Amended and Restated Lease Agreement.” Levine Cava wrote in the letter.

Grievances mentioned were the mistreatment of marine mammals under the care of the Seaquarium, which has brought the USDA to take action and issue a notice to confiscate four animals, the first time in more than 30 years that’s happened.

Due to this negligence, the County sees this as not only a “breach of the Terms and Conditions of the Amended and Restated Lease Agreement” but “as a failure to uphold the requirement to maintain the animals under federal law.”

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Rebecca Wakefield, chief of staff to county commissioner Raquel Regalado, informed The Beacon that there have been repeated attempts to improve the conditions of these animals on the county’s part by issuing several Notices of Default, but conditions never improved to fit the legal requirements. Regalado is the commissioner for District 7, which includes the Seaquarium and MAST Academy.

“In the meantime, we will continue to collaborate and coordinate closely with the USDA to chart the most appropriate course forward, always prioritizing the best interests of the animals residing at the Seaquarium,” Wakefield affirmed.

Miami residents and animal activists have been continuous in their efforts to close the aquarium, even creating a petition with the Dolphin Project that has received 20,000 signatures.

The petition details these facts: The Miami Seaquarium has had 115 dolphins and whales die under its care and has the smallest orca tank in the world only reaching 20 feet in depth.

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About the Contributor
Camila Gomez
Camila Gomez, Staff Writer
Camila Gomez is a freshman and journalist at MAST Academy. This is her first year here at MAST and her first time trying out journalism. She’s looking forward to writing for The Beacon. “I chose journalism because language arts is my favorite subject and it sounded fun” she says. Gomez’s decided on coming to MAST for the location, as well as the academics. “I actually almost went to Immaculata-La Salle High School but eventually decided on MAST,” Gomez said. Besides school Gomez really enjoys American football. “If this school had American football I would love to cover it for the newspaper.”
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