SEA LEAKS: Brave whistleblowers expose dirty secrets of SEA LIFE aquariums

SEA LEAKS: Brave whistleblowers expose dirty secrets of SEA LIFE aquariums

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.

CAPS_Sea_Leaks_report_0914_Final-1The 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
London Dungeons
Legoland Resorts
The London Eye (and other “Eye” attractions)
Madame Tussauds

  • 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: nick.varney@merlinentertainments.biz. 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!

 

 

7 Comments on "SEA LEAKS: Brave whistleblowers expose dirty secrets of SEA LIFE aquariums"

  • DominiKa says

    disgusting dirty secrets! >_<
    well done to CAPS for exposing the ongoing cruelty at Sea Life centres.
    now it's up to all of us to STOP IT once and for all!

    • Nicola O'Brien says

      Caps’ activists: Are you free to help us raise awareness about the imprisoned belugas on Saturday June 6th?

      A worldwide Empty the Tanks Day of Action launches on June 6th from London and the USA. We are are collaborating with Empty the Tanks and we hope you can support our Sea Life anti-captivity protests in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Please let us know if you can plan a protest at these or any of the other Sea Life centres in the country listed from their website: https://www.visitsealife.com/

      We must keep pressure on Merlin/Sea Life in the UK while they remain in constant public denial of their hypocrisy about the 3 belugas imprisoned for profit in Shanghgai.

      SEA LIFE is owned by Merlin Entertainments, the second largest visitor attraction operator in the world, famous for their theme parks and attractions. One of their biggest claims is that they believe no cetacean (whale, dolphin or porpoise) should be held captive, and in fact claim they campaign to end such practices. Merlin own an aquarium operating as part of the SEA LIFE brand which holds these three beluga whales, all of whom are forced to perform daily to crowds in circus-style shows.

      We are calling on Merlin to end the public shows and invest some of their multimillion pound profits into building a sanctuary for these poor whales; to show some compassion to these beautiful creatures and stop this public torment!

      Please let us know if you are free on 06/06/15 to join or organise a protest.
      Contact CAPS asap about any campaign materials you may need and ideas you want to share.

      Thank you.

  • Mark says

    Hi there, I just thought you’d like some additional inside info on Sea Life practices at the aquarium nearest to you…I worked there for 9 months in a behind the scenes role so this is all 1st hand info….
    1. On opening the Manchester site suffered excessive animal mortality, this was found to be due to excessive copper in the tank water. Sea life had to build addition water treatment plant to get rid of this. An independant analyst quoted as saying “I’d not drink this water even if it had been boiled” The water is still not upto scratch and cannot support the more delicate species.
    2. The Clown fish display also houses a puffer fish who regularly eats the clown fish. This was pointed out but I was told that “Kids like to see all the fish from finding Nemo together” so every week, the clown fish were just topped up to face a certain death.
    3. the Cownosed rays are regularly moved off display having cut themselves on the rock work, as usually bottom feeders, they now hunt the walls for food and are fed from a board lowered into the water vertically, many have open sores on their noses…
    4. the new Sea Stars starfish display took over 200 deaths before they installed a separate water system for the display bringing in water from weymouth to sustain life due to the proplems mentioned in (1) above
    5. The Shaoling Ring display (the first tank in the building) is open topped and many fish jump from the tank and are simply lying on the floor under the tank rotting, the staff are indifferent to cleaning and disposing of these “Code Pinks” (the term they use to descride a dead animal)
    6. Many dead fish are simply bagged and thrown into the Food waste bin in the Trafford Centre loading bay, so bad did the smell get that the food waste company refused to empty the bin during the summer.
    7. Larger Morts are taken to a (Full) chest freezer and removed from site to an animal crematorium in Cheshire every few months
    8. Sea Life see themselves as imune to protest at this site, as they are protected by the Trafford Centre security and are on private land…
    9. A large Tiger shark was moved to Manchester from Blackpool under a hail of TV & Press publicity last year, What they didnt mention after that on the TV was that Manchester managed to kill the fish within 3 weeks of the move and he was quietly forgotten about

  • cami says

    Thanks for all the awareness-raising and information you are providing the public.
    I just wanted to add to the boycott list Alton Towers and Thorpe Park which are also owned by Merlin Entertainments.
    Keep up the Fight CAPS!

    • Nicola O'Brien says

      Caps’ activists: Are you free to help us raise awareness about the imprisoned belugas on Saturday June 6th?

      A worldwide Empty the Tanks Day of Action launches on June 6th from London and the USA. We are are collaborating with Empty the Tanks and we hope you can support our Sea Life anti-captivity protests in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Please let us know if you can plan a protest at these or any of the other Sea Life centres in the country listed from their website: https://www.visitsealife.com/

      We must keep pressure on Merlin/Sea Life in the UK while they remain in constant public denial of their hypocrisy about the 3 belugas imprisoned for profit in Shanghgai.

      SEA LIFE is owned by Merlin Entertainments, the second largest visitor attraction operator in the world, famous for their theme parks and attractions. One of their biggest claims is that they believe no cetacean (whale, dolphin or porpoise) should be held captive, and in fact claim they campaign to end such practices. Merlin own an aquarium operating as part of the SEA LIFE brand which holds these three beluga whales, all of whom are forced to perform daily to crowds in circus-style shows.

      We are calling on Merlin to end the public shows and invest some of their multimillion pound profits into building a sanctuary for these poor whales; to show some compassion to these beautiful creatures and stop this public torment!

      Please let us know if you are free on 06/06/15 to join or organise a protest.
      Contact CAPS asap about any campaign materials you may need and ideas you want to share.

      Thank you.

  • Lesley Ward says

    I will never visit any of these attractions I don’t visit any that hold animals in captivity anyway. Animals are not put on this earth for our entertainment and amusement

    • Nicola O'Brien says

      Caps’ activists: Are you free to help us raise awareness about the imprisoned belugas on Saturday June 6th?

      A worldwide Empty the Tanks Day of Action launches on June 6th from London and the USA. We are are collaborating with Empty the Tanks and we hope you can support our Sea Life anti-captivity protests in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Please let us know if you can plan a protest at these or any of the other Sea Life centres in the country listed from their website: https://www.visitsealife.com/

      We must keep pressure on Merlin/Sea Life in the UK while they remain in constant public denial of their hypocrisy about the 3 belugas imprisoned for profit in Shanghgai.

      SEA LIFE is owned by Merlin Entertainments, the second largest visitor attraction operator in the world, famous for their theme parks and attractions. One of their biggest claims is that they believe no cetacean (whale, dolphin or porpoise) should be held captive, and in fact claim they campaign to end such practices. Merlin own an aquarium operating as part of the SEA LIFE brand which holds these three beluga whales, all of whom are forced to perform daily to crowds in circus-style shows.

      We are calling on Merlin to end the public shows and invest some of their multimillion pound profits into building a sanctuary for these poor whales; to show some compassion to these beautiful creatures and stop this public torment!

      Please let us know if you are free on 06/06/15 to join or organise a protest.
      Contact CAPS asap about any campaign materials you may need and ideas you want to share.

      Thank you.

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