Regardless of your view on whether any animals should be held captive by SEA LIFE aquariums, what is clear is that SEA LIFE wants you to believe that it is firmly on the side of the cetaceans. Sadly though, this is not the case.
In 2012, SEA LIFE's parent company, Merlin, purchased the Chang Feng Ocean World Aquarium in Shanghai and quickly added it to the ever-expanding "SEA LIFE brand". There are now 47 SEA LIFE centers around the world; all controlled from Merlin's Dorset (U.K.) headquarters.
At the time that the Shanghai site was purchased by Merlin, the centerpiece of the Chang Feng center was the "Beluga Whale Theatre". Here, thrice daily, three wild-caught beluga whales (also known as "white whales") would perform demeaning circus-style tricks to an auditorium of 2,000 screaming people whilst loud music blared in the background.
Of course, SEA LIFE tells us that it is utterly opposed to the keeping of cetaceans in captivity so one might expect that, whilst the fish, turtles and other aquatic animals held by the Chang Feng center would continue to be used for profit, once Merlin took over, the belugas would be spared their daily torment. But this was not to be.