SEA LIFE targets youngsters with whale circus promotion

SEA LIFE targets youngsters with whale circus promotion

In the UK, SEA LIFE aquariums pretend to be opposed to keeping whales and dolphins in captivity. They even claim to be campaigning for an end to dolphinariums in Europe. But the farcical nature of these claims was exposed when a Freedom for Animals investigation revealed that the SEA LIFE centre in Shanghai, China, hosts three times daily shows with performing wild-caught beluga whales.

In correspondence with Freedom for Animals, SEA LIFE have claimed to be “concerned with” the fact that the whales are in Shanghai and are “working hard to resolve this”; a comment which makes little sense given that the company has complete control over the centre. If they wanted the shows to stop, they could make it happen with immediate effect.

Whilst the company claims that it is looking for a “suitable solution” for the whales, this hasn’t stopped SEA LIFE from taking every available opportunity to exploit the animals for profit in the meantime.

In a promotional video for the Chang Feng SEA LIFE centre, which is clearly aimed at children and young people, one of the whales held captive by the company, JunJun, has been transformed into a cute animated character. The centre is making sure that the whale shows take centre stage in all promotional material and even tells impressionable youngsters at the end of the video that the “most exciting” part of their visit will be the whale circus. The video also suggests that “if you want to make friends with a smart beluga whale, then you need to give her a big round of applause”. There is little doubt that the company is using the exploited animals as its main selling point.

JunJun Animation

SEA LIFE makes light of exploited whale by turning her into “cute” animation

Said Liz Tyson, Freedom for Animals Director:

“The message is very clear – the whales continue to be the “star attraction” at the Chang Feng SEA LIFE centre – hardly a stance in keeping with the company’s claims that they are opposed to the keeping of cetaceans in captivity and are working to find some sort of long-term solution for JunJun and her companions. The fact that the video suggests that young visitors can become “friends” with the captive beluga whales is saddening, to say the least. The company is preying on impressionable young people and sending a clear message that those that care about these animals should support their ongoing exploitation. It is shameful”.

Ms Tyson called on those that have not already signed the petition to call for an end to the cruel shows to do so as a matter of urgency.

She said:

“The more pressure we can put on SEA LIFE to do the right thing, the better. We have seen demonstrations taking place around the world, and interest in the campaign is increasing by the day. The more people that get behind the SEA LIES campaign, the more chance we have to make a real difference for the whales”.


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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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