Partners and Expertise

Our expert partner Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC)

The SEA LIFE Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary has been many years in the planning and we have worked with some of the world’s foremost whale and dolphin experts to develop the plan for the Sanctuary.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) is the leading global charity dedicated to the conservation and protection of whales and dolphins. We strive to create a world where every whale and dolphin is safe and free. As well as fighting to end whale hunting, the deaths of whales and dolphins in fishing nets and the creation of healthy seas, WDC is at the forefront of calling for an end to whale and dolphin captivity around the world.

There are more than 3,000 whales and dolphins held in zoos and aquaria, where they perform in shows for public audiences or are part of ‘swimming with’ programmes. But, public opinion is shifting and support for these shows is waning.

As facilities close or decide to no longer keep the whales and dolphins they house, alternative solutions are needed that aim to improve the lives of the whales and dolphins held in them. This is where sanctuaries come in.

For the past twenty years, we have worked in partnership with Merlin Entertainments, and more recently the Sea Life Trust, to achieve better protection for whales and dolphins, including those held in captivity. WDC has been at the forefront of this beluga sanctuary project since day one. As part of our partnership with the SEA LIFE Trust on this project, WDC provides expert guidance on welfare and conservation every step of the way. We are all committed to securing the best possible outcome for these belugas and it is their long-term welfare that is paramount.

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  • "We have long applauded the commitment of Merlin and the SEA LIFE TRUST to find a better, alternative future for Little White and Little Grey, which is in line with our concerns about the keeping of whales and dolphins in captivity around the world, and the need to find a solution for the thousands of individuals held." Chris Butler-Stroud, WDC Chief Executive