Visitors to Sea Life Brighton are being urged to help safeguard the future of short-snouted seahorses, lobsters and sponges who all call the seas off Beachy Head home.
Sea Life helped the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and others persuade the Government to approve a 24-square-kilometre stretch of coastal waters from Brighton to Beachy Head being made a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in 2013.
It was one of 50 MPAs approved so far around the English coast, but MCS believes another 34 are necessary if the overall protected area is to succeed in helping safeguard our native marine life for the future.
“One of those extra areas is an extension of our local MPA east from Beachy Head,” said Brighton Sea Life conservation officer Helen Fitzgerald.
“It’s an area hosting an unusual sandstone reef ,which is home to soft corals, sponges, anemones and yet more short-snouted seahorses,” she said.
Rachel Alcock, Senior Campaigner for MCS, said that seeing native marine animals close up at Sea Life Brighton makes life under the sea real, often for the first time, for visitors.
“After getting an idea of what lies beneath the waves, visitors can now really get involved in helping secure the future of habitats and species,” she added.
“Centre visitors can now show the Government how much they care about our seas and how vital it is that Beachy Head East becomes a second Marine Protected Area off the south coast.”
Centre visitors will learn about the campaign and have the chance to sign supportive postcards, all of which will be collected and delivered to the appropriate Government decision makers.
Sea Life’s partner charity, The Sea Life Trust, has made habitat protection its primary goal in 2016, and is championing calls for more protected marine zones off the US and Australia as well as the 34 new areas recommended for England.
The trust hopes Sea Life Brighton and its sister centres around the UK will collect at least 100,000 postcards in support of the proposed new MPAs.
Please visit www.visitsealife.com/brighton to pre-book tickets online at reduced prices.
Sea Life Brighton
The world’s oldest operating aquarium, open to visitors for more than 140 years, Sea Life Brighton is home to more than 3,500 creatures including sharks, turtles, seahorses, rays and an anaconda.
Highlights include feeding demonstrations throughout the day, an interactive rock pool and the fantastic 360-degree Ocean Tunnel.
Sea Life Brighton also offers visitors the opportunity to experience the marine world from the unique perspective of a glass-bottomed boat – the first aquarium in the UK to do so. It is part of the Merlin Entertainments group.
The aquarium is open every day apart from Christmas Day, from 10am. Check current closing times on the website. Visit www.visitsealife.com/brighton for more information.
Merlin Entertainments is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment. Europe’s number one and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates 105 attractions, 11 hotels/3 holiday villages in 23 countries and across 4 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its almost 60 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and c25,000 employees.
Among Merlin’s attractions are – SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK Resort, Blackpool Tower, Heide Park Resort, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Sydney Tower Eye and SKYWALK. Visit www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information.