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Hunstanton sanctuary owners defend centre over ‘death rates’ data

Concerns have been raised over figures suggesting high death tolls at Sea Life sanctuaries, including the one in Hunstanton
Concerns have been raised over figures suggesting high death tolls at Sea Life sanctuaries, including the one in Hunstanton

The owners of a popular attraction in Hunstanton have defended the centre today after figures showed thousands of creatures died at its centres nationally over one year.

The statistics, obtained by the BBC through Freedom of Information requests, showed a total of 4,500 creatures of varying species died at eight Sea Life Sanctuaries in England from 2015 to 2016.

According to the report by the BBC, Hunstanton was one of the eight centres where these deaths occurred.

More than 10 per cent of its animals died in that period, around half of the highest proportion which was recorded at Yarmouth.

A spokesman for Sea Life said: “Sea Life places the very highest priority on the welfare of the animals at its sites, which are supported by experienced animal care teams, marine biologists and world-renowned veterinary consultants.

“Sea Life has a strong track record in animal husbandry and complies with all the laws and regulations under the Zoo Licencing Act.

“Furthermore we take an active role in promoting conservation, playing a leading part in rescue and rehabilitation, breeding select species at our facilities and educating the many millions of visitors to our attractions.”

However, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), which has worked with Sea Life in the past, said it will have “further discussions with Sea Life if future collaboration is to be pursued”.

A statement posted on its website said that some of the data is a “cause for concern.”

But it added that “fish die in aquariums for a number of reasons, and the data given to the BBC only provided mortality figures, including for very short-lived species such as jellyfish”.


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