Sign the SEA LIES petition today!

Please join us in signing the SEA LIES petition to the CEO of Merlin Entertainments PLC (SEA LIFE’s parent company) to demand that:

1. SEA LIFE ceases the circus-style cetacean and sea lion shows at the Shanghai centre with IMMEDIATE effect.

2. SEA LIFE removes any reference whatsoever to its “Whales and Dolphins Campaign” from ALL publicity materials with IMMEDIATE effect. Any company which actively exploits cetaceans on a daily basis cannot pretend to be involved in campaigns to see the same animals freed from captivity. The SEA LIES must end.

3. SEA LIFE uses some of its parent company’s huge £1.1 billion annual revenue to guarantee a safe retirement for the whales which it is currently exploiting and the other cetaceans which have been moved by Merlin Entertainments from their sites to other zoos, where they continue to be on public show. Any sanctuary which is established MUST be operated by a recognised and respected welfare and conservation organisation which is NOT part of the Merlin global brand and in which SEA LIFE has NO controlling interest.


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  • We demand that SEA LIFE ends its exploitation of captive cetaceans and guarantees their safe retirement [Read More]
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Petition Background

SEA LIFE is the largest aquarium brand in the world and is operated by British company, Merlin Entertainments. There are currently 47 sites operating under the SEA LIFE brand globally.

SEA LIFE makes the following claim:

“SEA LIFE believes it is wrong to keep whales and dolphins in captivity. No matter how spacious, no captive facility can ever provide such far-ranging, highly social and highly intelligent animals with the stimulation they need for a good quality of life. That is why SEA LIFE is supporting the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society’s campaign to put an end to dolphinariums” [Sea Life Website]

SEA LIFE calls this campaign its “Whales and Dolphins Campaign” and the aquarium chain also actively protested against the import of beluga whales to a consortium of US aquariums just last year.

However, three times a day, in the SEA LIFE centre in Shanghai, China, three beluga whales (and two sea lions) are forced to perform circus-style tricks to screaming audiences in SEA LIFE’s “Beluga Whale Theatre”.

There is no mention whatsoever on any SEA LIFE website, nor on the Merlin website, of this secret cetacean circus. Indeed, the weblink featured on the Merlin website under the name of the Shanghai aquarium leads to a different aquarium in the city, which is not owned by Merlin at all.

SEA LIFE has repeatedly claimed that it plans to establish a “sanctuary” for dolphins and, in the days prior to the launch of this campaign, told Freedom for Animals that feasibility studies have been carried out to this end. However, all discussion of a sanctuary has focused around bottle-nosed dolphins and sites are being considered in the Mediterranean. Beluga whales are arctic-dwelling animals and so, whilst there is still no concrete evidence available of the dolphin sanctuary coming into fruition, it would likely be unsuitable for the whales that continue to be exploited by SEA LIFE. More information on Merlin’s promises of a cetacean sanctuary can be found by clicking the link below.

Read the full details of Sea Life’s Secret Cetacean Circus HERE.