Conservation is at the heart of
Sealife Adventure

We work hard to deliver incredible experiences to everyone who visits Sealife Adventure. But we’re not just here to show you a great time. Conservation is at the heart of everything we do at our Zooquarium, and we’re committed to educating our visitors on the things we do – and the things we can all do – to look after our precious environment and the creatures who call it home.

This zone will give you a sneak peak at the huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes caring for our animals within our collection and helping to protect them in the wild. You will have the chance to see our quarantine systems, get to know the life support systems that run our aquariums, and learn about how we train our animals in order to provide them with the best possible care. You’ll also find out about the breeding we do onsite.

How have we contributed?

Beach Cleans (in association with MCS)

Over the last 30+ years we have been open, we have held regular beach cleans here in Southend on Sea, in association with the MCS Great British Beach Clean. In a previous clean, over 7,000 people took part throughout the county and removed 255,209 pieces of litter from 339 beaches! 

As well as cleaning up our coastline, we note down all the items they find in a stretch of beach. Every lolly stick, lost toy or piece of plastic – we record it. This data is hugely important as it helps us track litter back to source, and enables us to help campaign for change. 

Click here to find your local beach clean and contribute towards a greener coastline and saving animals lives.


Student Research

At Sealife Adventure, we are proud to have worked with University Students, including MSc and PhD students, with their research for their degrees. In a recent collaboration, we had Robyn come down to pursue some studying on our critically endangered European eels (Anguilla anguilla).

European eels have faced numerous threats in recent decades and little research has been carried out on them due to their complex lifestyle. Unfortunately current methods of research involve highly invasive techniques that can in themselves cause harm to the already critically endangered eels.


New research is attempting to use techniques such as environmental DNA methods to detect an eels presence in a body of water.

By analysing this DNA it is possible to determine the abundance and distribution of the eel populations in the wild without such invasive methods.


In addition to this hydrophones have been placed in our captive European eel tank to observe if they make any noises which can then be used to detect their presence in rivers and estuaries.


Research like this is incredibly important as, if successful, it will help protect the critically endangered European eel populations in the wild and reduce invasive handling methods.

Gunner’s Park Water Quality Testing – Partnered with Essex Wildlife Trust

One of our animal keepers, Oliver, is currently working in partnership with Essex Wildlife Trust, testing the water quality of Gunner’s Park in Shoeburyness.

Gunner’s Park is a coastal grassland nature reserve in Shoeburyness that is managed by Essex Wildlife Trust (EWT). It is wildlife oasis that includes Shoebury Old Ranges Site of Special Scientific Interest, but it is surrounded by housing development and has a long history of military activity. Major development plans adjacent to the reserve may significantly affect the wildlife of the park by adding pollutants to the ponds and lakes. However, there are no records of water quality tests across the park’s history, meaning that the percentage of trace elements or pollutants in the water currently is unknown. Using a set of Triton Tests, this project aims to set a baseline that could be used to measure the effect of future developments in the area and upstream as well as the effect of any land management work undertaken on the park to improve biodiversity. Heavy metals or high levels of phosphate, for example, will negatively impact wildlife, and the tests will show any changes in the chemical composition of the water over time. This information can then be used to advise EWT on how best to manage the reserve by highlighting a need for phosphate-stripping plants, for example, or any previously unknown leaks into the reserve.


Samples of water were taken from five bodies of water on Gunner’s Park: Serin Pond, Lake, Blackthorn Pond, Ephemeral Pond and River Shoe. Each of these vary significantly in size and source, ranging from a canalised mouth of a small river to a reed-lined pond that is not present all year round. The variation in properties means that they support a wide range of wildlife, including critically endangered European eel, and an abundance of water-hatched insects that support a large population of birds on the reserve. These samples were sent to TRITON Lab where trace and macro elements were tested, as well as the presence of heavy metals and contaminants. This information was then discussed with the Reserve Ranger of Gunner’s Park to see what the next best course of action for the reserve would be and what changes are expected to be seen.

It is expected that the samples will be taken again at regular intervals over the next few years to see whether the chemical composition of the water bodies change as residential development takes place adjacent to the park. This information will help EWT to establish what needs to be done to mitigate any harmful changes and whether they’re liable to compensation from local authorities. There will also be opportunities to assess the effectiveness of natural water filtration, the resilience of the local wildlife populations, the parameters within which certain species can survive, and the positive and negative impacts of active conservation work, such as deepening channels and stripping out plants.