Varney reiterates cetacean stance as Merlin closes in on world first whale sanctuary | attractionsmanagement.com news
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Varney reiterates cetacean stance as Merlin closes in on world first whale sanctuary
POSTED 02 Aug 2018 . BY Tom Anstey
We hope the project will help to encourage the rehabilitation of more captive whales into natural environments in the future
– Nick Varney
Merlin chief executive Nick Varney has reiterated the company's stance on cetacean captivity, as it embarks on its first steps to create an ocean sanctuary for a pair of captive beluga whales.

In 2012, Merlin acquired the Living and Leisure Australia Group (LLA), which within its attractions portfolio included Shanghai Chang Feng Ocean World in China – home to the two whales. Since Merlin's foundation in 1979, company policy has dictated that marine mammals such as whales and dolphins should not be held in captivity. Raised in captivity however, the belugas are unable to be released back into the ocean.

In June earlier this year, Merlin announced plans to open a first of its kind whale sanctuary in Iceland, with the aquarium's belugas to be transported there in the first or second quarter 2019.

"Since the acquisition of LLA, Merlin has been committed to finding a sustainable solution to the long term care of the beluga whales at Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai," said Varney, in a review of the first half of the year for Merlin.

"This reflects our long held view that cetaceans should not be kept in captivity. To this end, working with its partner charity the Sea Life Trust and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), Merlin has found a suitable location in a small bay on Heimaey Island on the south coast of Iceland."

Measuring 32,000sq m (344,000sq ft), the inlet at the Klettsvik Bay will offer the whales a more natural sub-Arctic environment and wild habitat. The sanctuary is being built and operated by the Sea Life Trust and WDC, with a visitor centre also under development to support ongoing costs.

Cetecean captivity has been a hot topic for operators worldwide in recent years, SeaWorld and its orcas taking the most heat. With governments and aquariums worldwide starting to phase out cetacean captivity, campaigners hope the steps taken by Merlin will encourage other operators to release their whales and dolphins into more natural environments.

"We hope the project will help to encourage the rehabilitation of more captive whales into natural environments in the future," said Varney.
Since Merlin's foundation in 1979, company policy has dictated that marine mammals such as whales and dolphins should not be held in captivity
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NEWS
Varney reiterates cetacean stance as Merlin closes in on world first whale sanctuary
POSTED 02 Aug 2018 . BY Tom Anstey
We hope the project will help to encourage the rehabilitation of more captive whales into natural environments in the future
– Nick Varney
Merlin chief executive Nick Varney has reiterated the company's stance on cetacean captivity, as it embarks on its first steps to create an ocean sanctuary for a pair of captive beluga whales.

In 2012, Merlin acquired the Living and Leisure Australia Group (LLA), which within its attractions portfolio included Shanghai Chang Feng Ocean World in China – home to the two whales. Since Merlin's foundation in 1979, company policy has dictated that marine mammals such as whales and dolphins should not be held in captivity. Raised in captivity however, the belugas are unable to be released back into the ocean.

In June earlier this year, Merlin announced plans to open a first of its kind whale sanctuary in Iceland, with the aquarium's belugas to be transported there in the first or second quarter 2019.

"Since the acquisition of LLA, Merlin has been committed to finding a sustainable solution to the long term care of the beluga whales at Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai," said Varney, in a review of the first half of the year for Merlin.

"This reflects our long held view that cetaceans should not be kept in captivity. To this end, working with its partner charity the Sea Life Trust and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), Merlin has found a suitable location in a small bay on Heimaey Island on the south coast of Iceland."

Measuring 32,000sq m (344,000sq ft), the inlet at the Klettsvik Bay will offer the whales a more natural sub-Arctic environment and wild habitat. The sanctuary is being built and operated by the Sea Life Trust and WDC, with a visitor centre also under development to support ongoing costs.

Cetecean captivity has been a hot topic for operators worldwide in recent years, SeaWorld and its orcas taking the most heat. With governments and aquariums worldwide starting to phase out cetacean captivity, campaigners hope the steps taken by Merlin will encourage other operators to release their whales and dolphins into more natural environments.

"We hope the project will help to encourage the rehabilitation of more captive whales into natural environments in the future," said Varney.
Since Merlin's foundation in 1979, company policy has dictated that marine mammals such as whales and dolphins should not be held in captivity
RELATED STORIES
Revenue up but profit down as Merlin reports half year results


The first half of the year has been a mixed bag for Merlin, with the operator reporting revenue increases of £24m (US$31.4m, €27m) for the first half of the year, but a decline in operating profits, which were down £10m (US$13m, €11.3m).
Legoland Florida announces Lego Movie expansion plans


Merlin has announced the largest expansion for Legoland Florida since it opened in 2011.
French courts overrule cetacean captivity decision


With governments and aquariums worldwide starting to phase out cetacean captivity, French courts have controversially overturned a ban on the breeding of dolphins and orcas implemented by the previous government.
Vancouver Aquarium announces plan to end cetacean displays


With pressures on cetacean captivity continuing to mount across North America, Canada’s Vancouver Aquarium has announced it will no longer display such animals, instead choosing to focus on creating healthier oceans as part of its public education programme.
MORE NEWS
Dialog-designed Zeidler Dome and S.P.A.C.E. Gallery open
Canadian science museum Telus World of Science, based in the city of Edmonton, has announced that two new spaces designed by Canadian architectural practice Dialog have opened.
Universal Studios set for the ‘Return of Michael Myers’
A raft of new, “terrifying” mazes will open at Universal Studios as part of the attraction’s Halloween Horror Nights event.
Crocodile Dundee’s fictional sequel significantly boosts Australian tourism
Tourist spending in Australia has grown by a huge AU $5.8bn (US$4.2bn, €3.7bn, £3.3bn), or 6 per cent for the year to March, according to latest figures.
US National Museum of Natural History’s Fossil Hall set for reopening
Kirk Johnson, museum director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, has announced its David H. Koch Hall of Fossils will reopen on 8 June 2019.
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LATEST JOBS
Membership & Visitor Welcome Manager
National Trust
Salary: £23,375 pa
Job location: Cambridge, UK
Estate Food and Beverage Manager
jdr Hospitality Recruitment
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Job location: Somerset, UK
Business Manager
National Heritage Centre
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Salary: £25,000 plus additional sales
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Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2018

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