In the second half of 2013, UK-based animal protection charity, the Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS), commissioned a detailed investigation into the operation of the UK’s largest chain of aquariums, Sea Life; a brand owned by the global company, Merlin Entertainments. The results of this investigation were published in spring 2014 in the form of a summary report, Sea Lies, and detailed analysis document, An investigation into the UK’s largest public aquarium chain.
The recent investigation follows a similar project carried out by CAPS ten years previously which culminated in the production of the summary report, Suffering Deep Down, in addition to the full study report entitled ‘Aquatic Zoos: A critical study of UK public aquaria‘. The 2004 study considered a number of different aquariums, not just those operated by Merlin under the Sea Life brand.
This website seeks to publicise the findings of both the 2014 reports and the 2004 investigation in order that the information is made widely available for those with an interest in, or concerns for, those animals held captive in aquariums. Whilst the 2014 study focused on one particular public aquarium brand, the findings in many cases are applicable to the wider industry and this site incorporates discussion surrounding aquariums other than those operating in the UK or under the Sea Life mantel.
As it stands, aquatic animals (perhaps with the exception of cetaceans) held captive in zoos and aquariums are largely overlooked in wider campaigns on the zoo industry. We hope that, by making this information widely available to the public, we will trigger an interest and concern for these oft-forgotten animals who, we believe, are as deserving of our concern as any other sentient individual.
The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS)
Founded in 1957, the Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) is one of the UK’s longest-running charities working to protect animals.
Through a combination of undercover investigations, research, campaigns, political lobbying and education, our work for animals focuses predominantly on issues affecting those individuals held captive in circuses and zoos, as well as those used in the television and film industry and the exotic pet trade.
Working for a world without cages, we encourages a more compassionate attitude and relationship between humans and other animals.