SeaWorld plans to double the size of its pools

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SeaWorld is planning to double the size of its pools.

The amusement company says it will also contribute millions of dollars to killer whale research, and set up an independent group of scientists to oversee the killer whale programs.

SeaWorld says the renovations have been in the works for some time and that they are not a response to any public criticism over the treatment of its killer whales.

The first of the new killer whale exhibits will open to the public in San Diego in 2018.

The move comes amid a backlash following the release of Blackfish, a documentary aired by CNN.

It examined SeaWorld's treatment of the animals in a heavily critical light and questioned whether they should be held in captivity at all.