n this handout photo provided by SeaWorld San Diego, mom and baby killer whale swim together at SeaWorld San Diego's Shamu Stadium December 4, 2014 in San Diego, California. Kalia, a 10-year-old killer whale, gave birth to the calf at 12:34 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, under the watchful eyes of SeaWorld's zoological team. The calf is estimated to weigh between 300 and 350 pounds and measure 6 to 7 feet. The gender of the calf is not yet known. As with any killer whale birth, the mother and calf are being observed round the clock for the first few weeks. (Photo by Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)

The disputed plan by SeaWorld San Diego to expand its killer whale tanks was approved Thursday by the California Coastal Commission, but only after a commissioner proposed a key amendment: no more breeding of the captive orcas. "We are disappointed with the conditions that the California Coastal Commission placed on their approval of the Blue World Project and will carefully review and consider our options," Seaworld San Diego President John Reilly said. "Breeding is a natural, fundamental and important part of an animal's life and depriving a social animal of the right to reproduce is inhumane."

However, animal activists and groups praised the commission's vote, "SeaWorld has admitted that it intended to breed even more orcas to fill the new tanks, but the commission's action today ensures that no more orcas will be condemned to a nonlife of loneliness, deprivation and misery," PETA spokesman Ben Williamson said in a statement, "SeaWorld is a sea circus, and the orcas are its abused elephants. PETA wants SeaWorld to stop building tanks and start emptying the ones they've got by sending the orcas to coastal sanctuaries, where they'd finally have some semblance of a natural life."

Criticism for SeaWorld, rose after the 2013 documentary "Blackfish." The upcoming plan consists of replacing and expanding two existing orca facilities with larger tanks, one containing 5.2 million gallons of water and another with 450,000 gallons.

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