Protesters outside Oceanarium holding placards

Local activist group protests Oceanarium

Some members of the group held placards, and others were giving out leaflets.

Their aim was to convince the public on practices inside the Oceanarium that the group claimed to be immoral, such as small tank sizes.

There were also community support officers surveying the area.

‘These animals aren’t just toys or things to be looked at. They have feelings.’

Ollie Farr, a vegan animal rights activist who participated in the protest, said he was there due to ‘captivity within the Oceanarium and the negative aspects’.

He added: ‘one of the great parts of this campaign is that you don’t have to be particularly vegan to actually support it’.

A global movement

Dorset Animal Save formed two years ago and campaigns for ‘animal liberation’.

It is one of over 330 ‘Save’ groups around the world and was founded in Toronto, Canada.

Aaron Sanders, an organiser of the local Save group, believes that the animals should not be kept in enclosures.

He said: ‘People are using this as entertainment, and they walk around for about an hour. But those animals are in there for life.

‘These animals aren’t just toys or things to be looked at. They have feelings.’

Sanders claimed that the tactics of the group were not aggressive.

Conservation and education

Dr Roger Herbert, Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology at Bournemouth University, has had student placements in the aquarium for years and has had ‘no major qualms’ with the management or conditions that animals are kept in.

He believes that a closer encounter with the animals is necessary in education and appreciation of wildlife.

He said: ‘I think aquaria have a huge role to play in bringing the sea to the minds of the public.’

Additionally, some aquariums around the UK support the Marine Conservation Society, the UK’s leading charity for the protection of seas and shores.

The Bournemouth Oceanarium promotes a campaign named Organise Beachwatch, which has cleaned over 100 kilograms of rubbish from local beaches since 2002.

The management at the Oceanarium has refused to comment on the protest.




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