Yas SeaWorld Research and Rescue Abu Dhabi, a first-of-its-kind dedicated marine science research, rescue, rehabilitation and return centre in the region, has opened its doors in the Capital’s Yas Island.
The centre features a skilled team of marine scientists, veterinarians, animal care professionals, marine animal rescue experts and educators. It aims to enhance the public's knowledge and commitment to the conservation of marine wildlife, habitats, and ecosystems.
The global SeaWorld Research and Rescue is headquartered in the US. The newest centre here is the first outside of the US. It has been built from the nearly 60 years of SeaWorld expertise and experience in marine animal care, rescue and scientific study worldwide. Globally SeaWorld has rescued more than 40,000 animals to date.
The opening ceremony was attended by Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment; Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Miral, and a number of UAE officials and senior representatives from SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment.
Al Mubarak said that the centre is a perfect embodiment of the Year of Sustainability’s theme ‘Today for Tomorrow’. “This is a cornerstone in the emirate’s journey of education and conservation, inspiring the next generation of marine scientists to learn more about Abu Dhabi’s impactful long-term vision of protecting our marine wildlife and their habitats. Together with SeaWorld, we will be pushing the limits of science and conservation to become the foremost knowledge hub for marine scientists, not only in the UAE, but also in the wider region."
The 8,602sqm centre has three dry labs, an experimental wet lab for studies, an aquaculture facility, research vessels, auditorium and classroom. The centre’s research interests include biodiversity, ecosystem resilience, sensitive wildlife, critical habitats, pollution and health, and fisheries.
“For nearly 60 years, SeaWorld has maintained its unwavering mission and steadfast commitment in protecting marine animals and their ecosystems and inspires others to act and care for marine life. Extending this legacy here in the UAE is important for global conservation and vital to honouring the history of the sea – of renowned traditional importance in the UAE and wider region,” said Scott Ross, Chairman of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment.
The centre will care for local marine wildlife ranging from sea snakes to large marine mammals and marine birds, by utilising cutting-edge rescue and rehabilitation facilities including specialised equipment, rescue boats, access to a necropsy facility and a veterinary hospital. It aims to rescue sick, injured and orphaned marine animals in the Arabian Gulf, and to provide life-saving rehabilitation with the goal of returning healthy animals back to their natural habitats.
The centre’s rescue equipment and infrastructure include a fleet of two custom-made rescue boats of 7 and 8 metres, personal watercrafts, 4x4 trucks; 25 rescue pools, including two with lifting floor, veterinary hospital facilities with state-of-the-art equipment and necropsy facility and a pathology lab.
The rescue capabilities include an experienced team with expertise in rescue operations, fast mobilisation to care for all marine animals. The team will be on call 24X7 throughout the year.
The centre’s education department will conduct workshops for students, host public events such as seminars and science talks with top marine scientists. It aims to inspire the public’s commitment to marine conservation by raising scientific awareness and promoting responsible behaviour towards the marine environment. The centre also seeks to foster the next generation of local marine scientists as it will welcome university students to pursue their studies in marine science and conservation within its research division.
The centre, co-located next to SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, can be accessed only by invite and appointment.
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