Breed, Rescue, Protect
Everything we do is about celebrating the sea and its inhabitants. By sharing the beauty of the oceans and its creatures with the millions of guests who visit us each year, we want to inspire them to join us in working to preserve our marine heritage for future generations.
Through our independent charity, The SEA LIFE Marine Conservation Trust, our guests make a huge contribution to marine conservation. Their support allows us to work with specialist organizations, individual experts, governments, business, and local communities on campaigns and activities that protect marine creatures and their environment across the globe.
These marine conservation initiatives generally fall into one of three areas – Breed, Rescue and Protect – and include:
- Running global breeding programmes for thirteen species of endangered rays as well as the largest seahorse network in the world.
- Rescuing hundreds of sick and injured seals and turtles every year, rehabilitating them and wherever possible returning them to the wild.
- Campaigning for marine protected areas to be set up across the globe as well as taking direct action against pollution by organising beach cleans across the globe.
SEA LIFE has been a pioneer in the field of seahorse breeding, successfully breeding and rearing nine different species to date to help this very sensitive and endangered sea creature from facing extinction.
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.
SEA LIFE SEA LIFE and its sister brand the Seal Sanctuaries annually rescues, cares for and returns to the wild more than 100 orphaned, injured and sick seal pups each year.
Marine Animal Rescue
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.
SEA LIFE provides permanent homes for damaged and disabled creatures rescued and in need of homing, that would otherwise have been killed or put to sleep. A SEA LIFE fund raising campaign has enabled a new Sea Turtle Rescue and Wildlife Information Centre to be built on the Greek island of Zakynthos.
We are active campaigners and do all we can to raise awareness of the critical issues facing the creatures of the oceans. We have been involved with lots of campaigns: the Stop Whaling Campaign, petitions to force the Greek government to improve conservation of sea turtle nesting beaches, helping to outlaw the grisly shark-fining industry, and reducing the impact of by-catch on vulnerable species. And it won’t stop there. We will always be involved.
Campaign 2010 „Stop Whaling“
s campaign focussed upon to thwart Icelands ambititions to kill more whales, working closely in partnership with the Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS).
The WDCS is the global voice for the protection of whales and dolphins. SEA LIFE and WDCS are working together to make the world a better place. Established back in 1987, the WDCS is the leading global charity dedicated to the conservation and welfare of all whales and dolphins (also known as cetaceans).
Become a SEA LIFE Whale Detective in 2011
Iceland is hunting whales. They are doing it despite the fact that whaling is cruel and unnecessary. They are killing endangered fin whales (the second largest whale) as well as minke whales and make no secret of their aim to increase their whaling. WDCS and SEA LIFE want to close down the whaling companies by getting people to stop buying fish that is caught by whalers.
The aim of the campaign is to end Icelandic whaling. Get involved!
Your mission – to identify the retailers who sell fish from Icelandic whalers and track down anyone buying this fish. And get them to stop! Pick up your enrolment card in every SEA LIFE Centre.
For more information visit also: www.whales.org
Current Campaign: Protection of Sea Turtles
Get involved with our latest campaign to raise funds to build a valuable Sea Turtle Rescue and Wildlife Information Centre on the Greek Island of Zakynthos. For thousands of years, generations of Loggerhead Turtles have returned year on year to the sandy beaches on the west side of Zakynthos to mate and make their nests. 90% of the loggerhead turtle nests in the Mediterranean are found here.
Today, the once idyllic island has been taken over by noisy clubs and excited tourists who simply don’t know that many of their activities are damaging the ancient breeding ground of the Loggerhead Turtles.
We have pledged to raise funds to make the Turtle Sanctuary an operational rescue centre for the many turtles injured in boat collisions and by fishing gear. Our commitment is long-term. We will help staff the new facility and help fund its work after opening. We have raised c. €150,000 already but need to quickly raise another €200,000 to get the centre opened.
Why not donate to this important cause during your visit?
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.
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. In 2009, our staff at German SEA LIFE Centres carried out target training to begin to understand how different shark species react to colour and shapes underwater. This valuable research aids 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.
You can get involved too. To find out how, email firstname.lastname@example.org or ask our talker in the SEA LIFE Centre.
More about SEA LIFE conservation