SeaWorld killer whale
Killer whale 'Tilikum' in its show 'Believe' at Sea World on March 30, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. 'Tilikum' killed a trainer at the marine park on February 24 2010. Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

The embattled amusement park chain SeaWorld will lay off 350 workers citing declining attendance.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment (NYSE: SEAS) announced Wednesday that it will be laying off employees and leaving open jobs unfilled at their SeaWorld entities in Orlando, Florida and San Diego, in addition to administrative roles in their corporate offices.

The company maintains 12 amusement parks, only three of which are SeaWorlds.

“It is an unfortunate, but necessary, consequence of the restructuring that some positions will be lost,” said spokeswoman Aimée Jeansonne Becka in a statement.

SeaWorld’s attendance was down 4 percent from last year, around 353,000 fewer people attended the park at the beginning go last year over this year, according to an August earnings report. The company blame “perception issues.”

The sign at the entrance to SeaWorld February 24, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. Matt Stroshane/GETTY

“We do not take this task lightly,” the statement continued. “We remain committed to creating world-class guest experiences, providing comprehensively for the care of all our animals, and continuing our company’s focus on stranded marine animal rescue and ocean conservation initiatives.”

The decline in attendance was mostly concentrated in the Orlando and San Diego locations of SeaWorld. The third SeaWorld is located in San Antonio.

A 2013 documentary “Blackfish” helped surface some of SeaWorld’s “perception issues.” The film focused on an orca whale held in captivity by SeaWorld and criticized keeping the animals in captivity. One orca whale featured in the film, Tilikum, killed its trainer, Dawn Brancheau, in 2010 in Orlando. Hers was the third death associated with the whale.

Orca shows and branding are synonymous with SeaWorld. After the film, the company saw a precipitous drop in profits.

The San Diego location of SeaWorld stopped doing orca shows in 2016, and the company said it will follow suit at its other locations in the future.

It was rumored earlier this month by the New York Times that Merlin Entertainments (LN: MERL), a U.K.-based amusement park company might be interested in purchasing two parks from SeaWorld, the more ride-based Busch Gardens theme parks in Virginia and Florida.