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Conservation at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
- Monday 15th April 2019
What good is an ocean without life? By coming face to fin with our creatures, you’ll learn how irreplaceable they are. We’re passionate about keeping our oceans teeming with diverse life; making sure our incredible sea creatures and marine environments are thriving. Without understanding and action, conservation is just a word. We want to inspire future generations to be safe keepers of our underwater world.
Engage and Learn
Instead of facts and figures, get to know our aquatic environments, and discover how complex the underwater world is. We keep our eyes peeled for ways to improve ocean habitats and protected areas, keep our coral healthy and preserve ocean creatures. At SEA LIFE Melbourne, our sustainability initiatives are front and centre! These future-focused actions are ingrained in our DNA; they’re what make us tick.
Handfish Rescue Project
To safeguard the survival of this incredible marine animal, a group of rare Spotted Handfish now calls SEA LIFE Melbourne home. Sporting spots and hand-like fins, this bottom-dwelling resident of Tasmania’s cool waters, ‘walks’ on the seabed. Critically endangered, these fish are diminishing in numbers due to pollution, dredging, introduced species and coastal development. SEA LIFE Melbourne’s captive breeding program seeks to establish a protected population of these fish, with the view to re-introducing them back into Tasmania’s waterways. In partnership with CSIRO, the Zoo and Aquarium Association, the National Environmental Science Program and Seahorse World in Tasmania, we’re putting these fish ambassadors in the spotlight to raise their profile and awareness of their plight.
Wanna contribute to a healthy marine environment? We support practical changes; showing you how you can get involved. By donating to SEA LIFE Trust ANZ, you can get behind conservation and research initiatives. Through the trust, we tag rehabilitated turtles, restore habitat for native freshwater fish and keep an eye on the condition of wild dugongs. Every year in August, SEA LIFE Melbourne celebrates Keep Australia Beautiful Week by cleaning up Batman Park. On the banks of the Yarra, staff and friends gather their gloves and rubbish bags to collect garbage and ‘Save our Seas.’
Without conservation, we have nothing. Everything we do is about making a difference; that’s why we strive to breed, rescue and protect Australia’s endangered aquatic animals and their habitats. When they’re gone, they’re gone; we can’t replace our incredible sea creatures. When you’ve met them face-to-fin, you’ll want to care for them too. We’ve set up breeding programs for sea horses, turtles, penguins and rays, and seek to better understand the creatures in our care. We nurse injured and sick creatures back to health, then release them back into the open waters. We advocate for and defend and preserve our animals and their environments.
Spread the Word
Stay up to date with marine matters, government petitions, conferences, and campaigns like banning whaling, shark-finning and reducing by-catch. With ten million people coming through the doors of SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium every year –that’s a whole lot of eyes and ears! We’re putting marine conservation and projects in the spotlight and grow the connection between us and the underwater world.
There’s no better way to learn than hands-on. To create a community of ocean-aware kids, get them involved with Turtle Watch. Follow the journey of our rescued and rehabilitated turtles, like Terry the Green Sea Turtle who was released back into the ocean in 2018 or Blair, the lovely Loggerhead Turtle, who returned to the sea in 2016. These shelled beauties are threatened by nets, plastic, boats, loss of habitat and coastal development. We then use the data to shape strategies for turtles in Australia and New Zealand.
Ocean Youth is a face to face program that gives high school students useful tools to amplify their interest in conservation and allows them to be proactive leaders in this space. They have the opportunity to take part in field trips, as well as in animal keeper and guest experience sessions and animal rehab releases.
Conservation happens when people care, so get your kids involved early and turn them into underwater advocates.