Animal activists protested against captivity outside SEA LIFE Brighton on Saturday

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Members of the Close Sealife campaign group protested outside SEA LIFE Brighton on Saturday to raise awareness about the cruelty of captivity.

Close Sealife is campaigning to close SEA LIFE Brighton because they think that sea creatures belong in the sea, not in tanks to be used for human entertainment.

Close Sealife wants the sea creatures at SEA LIFE Brighton to be released and taken to sea sanctuaries for rehabilitation to their natural habitat.

Sarah Whitehead, Close Sealife member, said: “Lulu and Gulliver, the green sea turtles, have been captive for over eighty years. That’s eighty years of never seeing the sun, never feeling the shore, and, in Lulu’s case, never laying eggs.

“These turtles travel thousands of miles in the wild, yet in Sealife, they just circle in a tiny tank. Aquaria do not belong in a civilised country and certainly not in a so-called ethical city.”

Close Sealife claims that the tanks at SEA LIFE Brighton do not replicate the natural environment of sea creatures, which affects their behaviour, and that the attraction promotes unethical animal petting.

Sarah Whitehead, said: “One hundred metres from this underground prison is the ocean. We know most of the sea creatures come from tropical waters. But to have the sea so close to a dungeon of tanks is outrageous. I don’t know how Brighton council hasn’t closed it down.”

Close Sealife has petitioned Brighton and Hove City Council to close SEA LIFE Brighton and remove their licence, and they currently have eighty-three signatures.

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A spokesperson for SEA LIFE Brighton said: “At SEA LIFE Brighton, we respect everyone’s right to peacefully protest as long as we can continue to take care of our animals without any interference to our guests’ experience. The safety and security of our guests, staff, and animals is our number one priority.

“SEA LIFE places the very highest priority on the welfare of the animals at its site, which is supported by an experienced animal care team, marine biologists, and world-renowned veterinary consultants.

“Every marine animal at SEA LIFE Brighton is cared for respectfully and ethically by our dedicated and highly experienced staff.

“There is a vital role for aquariums like SEA LIFE to play in raising awareness of the problems in our oceans, inspiring guests around the wonders we are in danger of losing and motivating them to help support us in our role to care for the world’s waters.”

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