Our commitment to conservation
Here at Sea Life we care deeply about our oceans, the creatures that live above and beneath the surface and those we are lucky enough to have in our care. We are experts in husbandry and will only keep creatures that we know will thrive in the displays we create for them.
We are campaigners and activists, doing all we can to preserve the precious life that dwells in our oceans. As well as the practical breeding, homing, rescue and rehabilitation of ocean dwelling creatures we also petition governments, host conferences and help raise awareness of all kinds of important marine issues.
We are pioneers in the filed of seahorse breeding and have successfully bred and reared nine species since our breeding programme started. Our programme has meant that we do not need to rely on external suppliers to find seahorses for our exhibitions. That means that none will ever be taken from the wild on our behalf. It also means that we may be able to use our stock to resupply wild stock if they become extinct in the wild.
We are members of an international Taxon Advisory Group, which oversees important seahorse protection and conservation endeavours around the world.
Marine animal rescue
Together with our Sanctuaries we rescue, care for and return to the wild more than 100 orphaned, injured and sick seal pups each year.
We also rescue other creatures that need our help, including rare sturgeon, dolphins, Minke Whales and Sea Turtles. In 2009 a rare Kemps Ridley Turtle found close to death on a beach in southern England was returned to the wild off North Carolina.
Rescue and rehoming
Occasionally we rescue and care for other, more unusual creatures. We gave homes to two severely disabled Loggerhead Sea Turtles. Antiopi, who was brain damaged by an ugly gaffe-wound and Lefteris, who had lost two flippers would have both died if a collaboration between us and the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece (Archelon) hadn’t brought them to us.
Campaigning for the protection of turtles
A SEA LIFE fund raising campaign has enabled a new Sea Turtles Rescue and Wildlife Information Centre to be built on the Greek island of Zakynthos. This is because 90% of the loggerhead turtle nests in the Mediterranean are found here. Until the centre was built any adult turtles injured in collisions with pleasure craft or through entanglement in fishing gear around the island (of which there are many) could only be treated at a centre in Athens, a day’s travel away.
Brighton Sea Life Centre is also raising funds to assist turtle conservation work by Project Tamar in Brazil.
Working with other groups
We are proud to work alongside lots of important environmental groups. These include: Greenpeace, The Marine Conservation Society, The Shark Trust, The Isle of Man Basking Shark Survey, The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, The Wildlife Trust, the Worldwide Fund for Nature and others.
We have financed vital field projects and have hosted exhibitions, fund-raising events and press conferences to help wildlife charities draw attention to particular marine conservation issues.
We have helped fisheries research by supplying mature shoaling species of seahorses for tagging and release.
We also carry out shark tagging through many of our centres. This work helps researchers to understand how habitat changes have affected the sharks lives. Our staff at Blackpool carry out target training to begin to understand how different shark species react to colour and shapes underwater. This valuable research will aid the understanding of movements of sharks on the wild.
Education & Awareness
We attract over six million visitors every year. This gives us a unique opportunity to increase awareness of, and support for, a wide range of marine conservation issues. We do this by placing an emphasis on environmental concerns wherever possible.
We also organise and host high profile conferences and events to attract the attention of the industry, media and general public. These have included an International Shark Conference at the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham, a ‘Junior’ Shark Conference at Weymouth and a National Junior Sea Life Conference in Birmingham.
These events cover marine issues ranging from the controversial Alaskan seal cull to shark finning, whaling and the erosion of coral reefs.