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Turtle being released

Conservation in the local area

At SEA LIFE Weymouth, we have lots of local activities you can support or get involved with! Join our Conservation projects to help protect our oceans and endangered species struggling for survival.

Turtle Rescue

Turtle Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release

We have been involved in rescuing, releasing and rehabilitating turtles at Weymouth SEA LIFE Park. In 2007 we helped rehabilitate an extremely rare Kemp’s Ridley turtle called Willie. She had drifted off course and ended up off the coast of Devon, suffering from exhaustion. She was brought to the Park where she was looked after by our experienced animal care team. She was released in 2009 off the coast of North Carolina where her breed is commonly found.

Turtle with baby

More recently we have taken on the long term care of 5 disabled Green Sea Turtles, called Gumbo, Ali, Cracker, Sharkey and Josie. All 5 Turtles were donated to us by the Florida Turtle Hospital because they needed to free up space for newly admitted turtles. Sadly, due to their disabilities, all of them are considered un-releasable and will therefore live out their remaining life in our purpose-built turtle sanctuary.

While with us they will also provide a strong educational tool to highlight their plight in the wild.

The rescue and rehabilitation of turtles is one of SEA LIFE Conservation’s main focuses. You can support this cause just by visiting one of our our aquariums or sanctuaries.

Threats to turtles:

  • Marine litter. Turtles often ingest plastic bags that they mistake for their favourite food, jelly fish.
  • Humans and tourism affects turtles when development influences or takes over their breeding grounds and nesting sites.
  • The international trade in Turtles as pets.
  • Marine pollutants can cause debilitating tumours.
  • Fishing nets that are not fitted with Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs).

Humboldt Penguin Breeding

Humbolt Penguin Breeding Programme

Turtle with baby

Humboldt Penguins are an endangered species that are classed as CITES listed. This means you cannot take them from the wild. As a result of this we started a captive breeding program in 2001 to help sustain numbers in captivity due to their drastic decline in the wild. With only about 12,000 Humboldt’s left in the wild, our breeding colony will help to sustain numbers in captivity and will also help to raise awareness of their plight in the wild.

Our guests enjoy finding out about our breeding programme especially when they find out how successful it’s been.Due to their decline in the wild and perilous existence, Penguin conservation is one of our biggest commitments to our oceans.

Threats that face Penguins:

  • Global Warming affects the Humboldt Penguin because it affects the ocean currents and temperatures that provide their food and habitat.
  • El Niño events reduce the upwelling of cold, nutrient-laden waters which serves to reduce the amount of food available to them in the ocean where they live.
  • The Humboldt Penguin is also endangered by intense commercial fishing and oil pollution.

Other Local Conservation

Seal Rescue

SEA LIFE and its sister brand the Seal Sanctuaries annually rescues, cares for and returns to the wild more than 100 orphaned, injured and sick seal pups each year.

Marine Animal Rescue

We take an active part in rescuing all types of sea animals that need our help. In recent years Weymouth SEA LIFE have been heavily involved in Turtle rescue, rehabilitation, release. In 2009 we returned a rare Kemps Ridley Turtle to the wild off North Carolina after it was found close to death on a beach in southern England.


We provide permanent homes for damaged and disabled creatures that have been rescued and would otherwise be killed, die or be put to sleep.

By giving these beautiful creatures a home we can demonstrate to all of our visitors how small changes in our daily lives really could make a difference to the survival of many of the ocean's creatures. And with very little effort!


We are active campaigners and do all we can to raise awareness of the critical issues facing the creatures of the oceans. We have been involved with lots of campaigns: the WDCS 2010 Stop Whaling Campaign, petitions to force the Greek government to improve conservation of sea turtle nesting beaches, helping to outlaw the grisly shark-fining industry, and reducing the impact of by-catch on vulnerable species. And it won’t stop there. We will always be involved.

To find out more about our conservation projects and to get involved just Send us an e-mail

Our Conservation Successes:

  • Breeding
  • Seal Rescues
  • Re-homing
  • Campaigns