Merlin is proud to support our partner charity the SEA LIFE Trust. The SEA LIFE Trust’s vision is of a world where our oceans are healthy, properly protected and full of life.
The Trust develops and supports projects and campaigns which protect marine wildlife and habitats. These include:
By making use of nearly 50 SEA LIFE Centres worldwide, the Trust communicates and campaigns to reach over 20 million people; shifting attitudes and affecting positive change.
Following a donation from Merlin, the SEA LIFE Trust has built a Beluga Whale Sanctuary in the Vestmannaeyjar islands, Iceland. This world first project provides a home for two previously captive beluga whales, Little White and Little Grey from Changfeng Ocean Park, Shanghai, China.
The secluded Icelandic bay was chosen to provide a more natural sub-Arctic environment for the two female beluga whales, and will include a landside care facility and visitor centre. The sanctuary became the new home for Little Grey and Little White in 2019 with the whales entering the open water bay in September 2020. You can read the full press release on their first swim in the bay here on the Merlin Newsroom.
Created in partnership with Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), the Beluga Whale Sanctuary is one of the biggest recent developments in captive whale and dolphin care and protection. It is hoped the project will help to encourage the rehabilitation of more captive whales into natural environments in the future.
A sustainable rehoming solution for the belugas has been explored ever since Merlin Entertainments acquired Changfeng Ocean World, driven by our philosophy to not keep cetaceans such as whales and dolphins in captivity.
Learn more about the Sanctuary, its plans and the journey of the two whales here:
Ken Jones, the founder of the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, rescued his first seal in 1958. The Sanctuary has been at its current site in Gweek in the UK since 1975. The team rescues, rehabilitates and releases sick and injured seal pups from around the Cornish coastline.
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