In April 2014, The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) launched a campaign in response to growing concerns over the operation of the world’s largest aquarium brand, SEA LIFE aquariums. The campaign launch followed a detailed investigation and revealed a number of shocking truths about the company, which is owned by global entertainment giant, Merlin Entertainments.
Conservation, education and animal welfare were scrutinised during the investigation and major concerns were raised on each of these issues. In addition, it was revealed that, despite claiming to be opposed to the keeping of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) in captivity, Merlin operates a three-times-daily whale circus-style show in its Shanghai centre. Detailed information and reports relating to this investigation can be found by clicking HERE.
Since the launch, a number of current and former members of staff of the company have come forward to express their own concerns and these revealing accounts have shed light on some of the darkest corners of SEA LIFE’s operation.
Today, we can share with you these important insights into the inner workings of a company which makes the following claim:
“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”.
In the coming days, we will be revealing the detail of these new allegations made by SEA LIFE employees which include:
- Confirmation that SEA LIFE aquariums are removing wild animals from one of the most fragile marine ecosystems in the world in order to stock their tanks.
- That SEA LIFE aquariums have been responsible for the deaths of dozens of animals deemed “surplus” to requirements.
- That staff have raised serious concerns with regard to animal welfare and have been ignored by senior management.
- That a baby penguin was trampled to death during a late night event held at one SEA LIFE centre.
- Staff are required to sign confidentiality agreements to prevent information about unexpected deaths of animals out of the public domain.
The original SEA LIES investigation uncovered numerous disturbing truths about the operation of the world’s largest aquarium brand, SEA LIFE aquariums. Now, these new accounts provided by staff, volunteers and other insiders give just a hint of what other worrying practices might be going on behind closed doors at the company which claims that “everything [it does] is about celebrating the sea and its inhabitants”.
With animals stolen from their wild homes, others allegedly left to die due to staff negligence and others showing signs of serious mental distress, we believe that this company must be held to account.
What is clear is that, in visiting a SEA LIFE aquarium, visitors are unwittingly fuelling the continuation of the business model which appears to put profit before the most basic needs of some of the animals. Please, do not visit this or any other business which holds animals captive for profit.
What you can do!
- Boycott businesses owned by Merlin Entertainments:
Sea Life Aquariums
Chessington World of Adventures
The London Eye (and other “Eye” attractions)
- Sign the petition to call for the release three wild-caught beluga whales from this company’s control!
- Write a polite email to the CEO of Merlin to raise your concerns over their treatment of animals. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Your email could cover the following issues:
– Animals being caught from the wild to stock Sea Life tanks;
– The continued use of wild-caught beluga whales in circus style shows in the Shanghai Sea Life centre;
– Serious animal welfare concerns for animals including sharks, seahorses and penguins
- Donate to support the SEA LIES campaign!