Sea Life is a chain of commercial sea life-themed aquarium attractions. As of April 2017[update] there are 53 Sea Life attractions (including standalone Sea Life centres, mini Sea Life features within resort theme parks, and Legoland submarine rides) around the world. The chain is owned by the British company, Merlin Entertainments.
Sea Life centres aim to combine modern display technology, biological expertise, and entertainment to provide themed journeys through European and tropical waters. This often provides close encounters with sealife, from shrimps and starfish, to seahorses, sharks and stingrays.
Sea Life centres also claim to champion the cause of marine conservation through education, awareness and, wherever possible, direct action.
Sea Life Sanctuaries and Seal Sanctuaries operate from two centres in the United Kingdom as well as one location in Australia. The United Kingdom locations include the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, Cornwall and the Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary in Norfolk. A Scottish seal sanctuary in Oban, named the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary, closed in October 2018. Manly Sea Life Sanctuary (formerly Oceanworld Manly) operates in Australia. The Hunstanton facility operates otter and penguin sanctuaries as well as a seal hospital.
Since 2001 all Sea Life centre conservation, rescue and campaigning work has come under the SOS scheme, an acronym for "Save Our Seas." SOS supports the work of wildlife charities and campaign groups including Greenpeace, the Worldwide Fund for Nature, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and the British Divers Marine Life Rescue. Each centre also has a headline campaign which changes periodically. Past campaigns have advocated increased protection for loggerhead sea turtles and restrictions on the practice of shark finning.
Asia centres are located at:
- Sea Life Bangkok, Thailand
- Sea Life Busan, South Korea
- Sea Life Shanghai, China
- Sea Life Nagoya, Japan
- Sea Life Malaysia, Malaysia
- Sea Life Sichuan, China (Opening in 2024)
Sea Life Nagoya and Sea Life Malaysia are attached to Legoland.
In November 2015, Merlin Entertainments announced that over the next 10 years it would invest £50 million in India, some of which will be used to open Sea Life centres. In January 2017, Merlin Entertainments Indian subsidiary stated that it was in discussion with real estate firms to open Sea Life centres in multiple cities in India.
Centres are located in Germany in: Berlin, Cuxhaven, Königswinter, Konstanz, Munich, Nuremberg, Speyer, Timmendorfer Strand and Hanover. The largest Sea Life Centre of Germany is in the Central park in Oberhausen. This was the home of Paul, the psychic octopus who correctly predicted the German national football team's results at the world cup of 2010, until his death in October 2010.
- Birmingham, England - National Sea Life
- Blackpool, England - Sea Life Blackpool
- Brighton, England - Sea Life Brighton
- Great Yarmouth, England - Sea Life Great Yarmouth
- Gweek, England - Cornish Seal Sanctuary
- Hunstanton, England - Sea Life Hunstanton
- Loch Lomond, Scotland - Loch Lomond Aquarium
- London, England - London Aquarium
- Manchester, England - Sea Life Trafford Centre
- Scarborough, England - Sea Life Sanctuary
- Weymouth, England - Sea Life Adventure Park
Sea Life Centres at resort theme parks:
- Alton Towers Resort, England - Sharkbait Reef by Sea Life
- Chessington World of Adventures, England - Chessington Sea Life Centre
- Legoland Windsor Resort, England - Atlantis Submarine Voyage
- St. Andrews, Scotland - sold and now operates as the St. Andrews Aquarium
- Oban, Scotland - Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary - closed in October 2018
- Hastings, England - Sea Life Hastings - sold and now belongs to the Blue Reef Aquarium chain
Other European Sea Life centres are in: Bray, Ireland; Blankenberge, Belgium; Helsinki, Finland; Val d'Europe, Paris, France; Porto, Portugal; The Hague, Netherlands, Istanbul, Turkey and in Benalmádena, Spain
American centres are located in:
- Sea Life Arizona
- Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium
- Sea Life Grapevine
- Sea Life Kansas City
- Sea Life Charlotte-Concord
- Sea Life Michigan
- Sea Life Orlando
- Sea Life San Antonio
- Sea Life New Jersey
- Dallas Sea Life Aquarium
- California Sea Life Aquarium (There is also a related "theme park" at Carlsbad, California, at Legoland California Resort.)
Centres are located in Australia in:
Sea Life centres have been criticised over animal welfare, with the Marine Conservation Society calling a 30% mortality rate "disturbing." The charity Freedom for Animals has criticised Sea Life over their conservation claims and also for the presence of Beluga whales at attractions.
- "Seal Sanctuaries". visitsealife.com. Merlin Entertainments (Sea Life) Limited. Archived from the original on 16 August 2011. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
- Eriksson, Boel (28 August 2012). "Junior oceanologists start at Manly Sea Life Sanctuary". The Manly Daily. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
- "Welcome to Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary". visitsealife.com. Merlin Entertainments (Sea Life) Limited. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- "Locations". Merlin Entertainments. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- Agarwal, Sapna (17 January 2017). "After Madame Tussauds, Merlin set to bring Legoland, Sea Life to India". www.livemint.com/. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
- "German 'psychic' octopus predicts victory for Spain". BBC News. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- "Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary to close at the end of October". BBC News. 6 September 2018.
- "Merlin Entertainments Group Announces $10 Million Sydney Aquarium Refurbishment". ausleisure.com.au. Australian Leisure Management. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- Tasman-Jones, Jessica (17 March 2012). "Kelly Tarlton's set for $5.5m upgrade". stuff.co.nz. Fairfax New Zealand Limited. Retrieved 25 March 2012.