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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
MORE NEWS
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The Futuroscope theme park in Poitiers, France, has reopened its doors for the 2019 season and has some big plans for new attractions over the coming years.
Krispy Kreme pops up in London with new flavours
Tourists, shoppers and commuters in Central London will be treated to a special Krispy Kreme experience in March, as the doughnut company opens a pop-up in Great Newport Street, near to Leicester Square and trials new flavours.
Cedar Fair looks ahead with optimism after 2018 results
Cedar Fair has reported positive Q4 and full 2018 figures, along with a new long-term growth target.
US$70m aquarium and wildlife sanctuary mooted for Cambodia
The Cambodian resort city of Siem Reap could become home to a new US$70m (€61.6m, £53.5m) aquarium and wildlife sanctuary, following a meeting between potential investors and the city’s governor.
+ More news   
LATEST JOBS
Visitor Experience Team Leader
The Silverstone Experience
Salary: c £25,000 pa
Job location: Silverstone, Towcester, UK
Retail Manager
The Silverstone Experience
Salary: c £25,000 pa
Job location: Silverstone, Towcester, UK
Active Outdoors Assistant
National Trust
Salary: £8.46 per hour
Job location: Ulverston, UK
Group Travel Trade Manager
The Royal Mint
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Job location: Llantrisant, Pontyclun, UK
Commercial Operations Director
The National Museum of the Royal Navy
Salary: £60,000 circa per annum
Job location: Portsmouth, UK
Theme Park Resort Duty Managers
Gulliver's Theme Park
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Job location: Rother Valley, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, UK
+ More jobs  
 


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Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2019

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
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