top of page

The SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga whale sanctuary

The SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga whale sanctuary
The SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga whale sanctuary

The SEA LIFE TRUST is a registered charity (no. 1175859) dedicated to protecting the world's oceans and the incredible marine life they sustain. One of its most remarkable initiatives is the world's first Beluga Whale Sanctuary, created with support from Merlin Entertainments and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC). This sanctuary aims to provide beluga whales with a safe and more natural home, advancing knowledge through research and education, and supporting the protection of belugas in the wild. This project aligns closely with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Life Below Water, which aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources.

A safe haven for beluga whales

The SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary was established to offer a better life for beluga whales previously held in captivity. The sanctuary's primary goals are:

- Providing a More Natural Life: The sanctuary offers a natural environment where belugas can thrive, away from the confines of traditional captive facilities. This setting allows them to exhibit natural behaviors and live in conditions that closely mimic their natural habitat.

- Advancing Knowledge: Through dedicated research and education programs, the sanctuary aims to deepen our understanding of belugas and their needs. This knowledge can inform better conservation strategies and enhance public awareness about these magnificent creatures.

- Supporting Wild Protection: The sanctuary also focuses on the conservation of wild beluga populations by raising awareness and supporting initiatives that protect their natural habitats.

Transforming the lives of marine animals

By leading the way and demonstrating an alternative approach to caring for beluga whales, the SEA LIFE TRUST hopes to inspire other facilities to consider sanctuaries as a viable option. This paradigm shift could potentially improve the lives of over 3,000 whales and dolphins currently housed in traditional facilities worldwide. Instead of performing in shows or living in confined spaces, these animals could enjoy a more natural and enriching life.

The journey of little grey and little white

The sanctuary's first residents, Little Grey and Little White, are prime examples of the sanctuary's mission. Caring for these belugas involves considerable resources. The monthly cost of £37,400 / $45,000 covers their food, daily care, monitoring by a dedicated animal care team, maintenance, and essential health checks from specialist vets. These expenses highlight the commitment required to provide high-quality care and the importance of ongoing support for such initiatives.

Connection to SDG 14: Life below water

The SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary aligns with SDG 14 by addressing several key targets:

- 14.2: Sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience.

- 14.4: Effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and destructive fishing practices, and implement science-based management plans.

- 14.5: Conserve at least 10% of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information.

- 14.7: Increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture, and tourism.

By providing a sanctuary for beluga whales, the SEA LIFE TRUST is directly contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources. The sanctuary serves as a model for humane treatment and conservation, promoting a broader understanding of marine ecosystems and the need to protect them.

Supporting marine conservation efforts

The SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary is a pioneering project that exemplifies the spirit of SDG 14. It demonstrates how innovative approaches and dedicated care can transform the lives of marine animals while promoting broader conservation goals. By supporting such initiatives, we can all contribute to a healthier and more sustainable future for our oceans and the incredible life they support.

By focusing on the significant work being done at the SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary, this article highlights the essential connection between marine conservation efforts and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 14: Life Below Water.

More information and image rights:


bottom of page