Through transparent, sharable data, a focus on the conservation of marine animals and habitats
Orlando, Fla. (January 25, 2018) – Today marks the official kick off of a partnership between two conservation leaders that is focused on the global protection of marine animals and the world’s oceans. SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., a leader in animal rescue and inspiring themed entertainment experiences, and OCEARCH, a leader in generating critical scientific data related to studies of keystone marine species, announced a multi-year partnership and have made valuable data available to both the scientific community and the general public for the first time ever in a widely-accessible format.
OCEARCH’s popular Global Shark Tracker will now house data on rescued, rehabilitated and returned marine animals, offering both the scientific community and the general public the ability to learn more about threatened and endangered species as they are given a second chance at life. Data on three of SeaWorld’s rescued and returned animals – Gale, a pilot whale, TJ, a dolphin, and Iris, a harbor seal – can now be found at OCEARCH.org and open access will be provided to the scientific community in the near future.
The announcement was made aboard the 126-foot research vessel M/V OCEARCH, a floating science lab and mothership on its first research expedition of 2018. Future missions are scheduled for May and September of this year. These missions will bring together the OCEARCH team and SeaWorld veterinarians, scientists and researchers to share knowledge and experience that will contribute to their shared mission to educate, inspire and advocate for ocean health and marine animal conservation efforts.
Aboard the M/V OCEARCH today with front row access to the team and their work are SeaWorld’s Dr. Todd Robeck, an expert in the field of veterinary reproduction and members of the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Youth Advisory Council, a group of passionate young conservationists working to protect animals and inspire future generations.
“We are thrilled to partner with OCEARCH to continue to raise awareness of critical issues surrounding marine animals and habitats,” said Dr. Chris Dold, Chief Zoological Officer at SeaWorld. “SeaWorld is one of the world’s foremost zoological rescue organizations, and using the global satellite tracker on rehabilitated and returned animals is an exciting way for us to share the next chapter in the lives of rescued animals. Working together, we hope to inspire the next generation of marine scientists and everyday advocates through our common love of the ocean.”
Chris Fischer, OCEARCH Founding Chairman and Expedition Leader, added: “Together, OCEARCH and SeaWorld will focus on bringing everyday people closer to the ocean to increase understanding of how to better protect marine animals and habitats. We are committed to providing open-sourced, real-time data and content, allowing anyone to follow our findings – from classrooms to researchers and experts.”
The SeaWorld OCEARCH partnership focuses on three key areas:
Research and rescue – For the first time, OCEARCH’s Global Shark Tracker will be used to monitor rescued, rehabilitated and returned marine animals, providing valuable, open-sourced data to the public.
Education – Co-development of content that will educate students, while inspiring the next generation of explorers, scientists, and stewards of the ocean.
Policy – Utilizing the open sourced data from sampled and tagged marine animals to advocate for the protection of marine life.
About SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.
SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. is a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter, and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world. The company is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The company collectively cares for what it believes is one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The company also rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 31,000 animals in need over the last 50 years.
SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. owns or licenses a portfolio of recognized brands including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens® and Sea Rescue®. Over its more than 50-year history, the company has built a diversified portfolio of 12 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind zoological collection. The company’s theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.
Copies of this and other news releases as well as additional information about SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. can be obtained online at www.seaworldentertainment.com. Shareholders and prospective investors can also register to automatically receive the company’s press releases, SEC filings and other notices by e-mail by registering at that website.
OCEARCH is a recognized world leader in generating critical scientific data related to tracking (telemetry) and biological studies of keystone marine species such as great white and tiger sharks, in conjunction with conservation outreach and education at a measurable global scale. OCEARCH shares real-time migration data through OCEARCH’s Global Shark Tracker – In 2015, OCEARCH open-sourced the data on the Global Shark Tracker to over 15 million users. In partnership with SeaWorld, Costa Sunglasses, and YETI Coolers, the researchers OCEARCH supports work aboard the M/V OCEARCH, a 126’ Cat-powered vessel equipped with a 75,000-lb. hydraulic research platform, where the ship serves as both mothership and at-sea laboratory. Scientists have approximately 15 minutes of access to live, mature sharks to conduct up to 12 studies. The sharks are measured, tissue and blood samples are collected, and satellite and acoustic transmitters are attached. Over 172 researchers from 91 regional and international institutions have partnered with OCEARCH.