The 8,602-square-meter facility includes three dry laboratories, an experimental wet laboratory for research, an aquaculture facility, research vessel, auditorium and classrooms
Yas SeaWorld Research and Rescue Abu Dhabi, the region’s first dedicated marine scientific research, rescue, rehabilitation and return centre, has opened in the capital, Yas Island.
The center has a skilled team of marine scientists, veterinarians, animal care specialists, marine animal rescue specialists and educators. It aims to increase public awareness and commitment to protecting marine wildlife, habitats and ecosystems.
The global SeaWorld Research and Rescue organization is headquartered in the United States. The newest center here is the first outside the United States. It builds on SeaWorld’s nearly 60 years of expertise and experience in global marine animal care, rescue and scientific research. To date, SeaWorld has rescued more than 40,000 animals around the world.
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 various UAE officials and senior representatives from SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment.
Mubarak said the center perfectly embodies the theme of the Year of Sustainable Development, “Today for Tomorrow”. “This is the cornerstone of the emirate’s educational and conservation journey, inspiring the next generation of marine scientists to learn more about Abu Dhabi’s influential long-term vision for protecting our marine wildlife and their habitats. Together with SeaWorld we will advance science and the limits of conservation, becoming the foremost knowledge center for marine scientists in the UAE and the wider region.”
The 8,602-square-meter center houses three dry laboratories, an experimental wet laboratory for research, an aquaculture facility, research vessel, auditorium and classrooms. The center’s research interests include biodiversity, ecosystem resilience, sensitive wildlife, critical habitats, pollution and health, and fisheries.
“For nearly 60 years, SeaWorld has maintained a strong mission and unwavering commitment to protect marine animals and their ecosystems, and to inspire others to take action to protect marine life. Continuing this legacy in the UAE is important for global conservation, and for honoring the history of the sea Of vital importance – of renowned traditional importance in the UAE and the wider region,” said SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment Chairman Scott Ross.
The center will care for local marine wildlife, including sea snakes, large marine mammals and seabirds, using state-of-the-art rescue and rehabilitation facilities, including specialized equipment, rescue boats, autopsy facilities and a veterinary hospital. It aims to rescue sick, injured and orphaned marine animals in the Arabian Gulf and provides life-saving rehabilitation services with the aim of returning healthy animals to their natural habitat.
The center’s rescue equipment and infrastructure includes two custom-built 7m and 8m rescue boats, personal watercraft, 4×4 trucks; 25 rescue pools, including two with raised floors, state-of-the-art equipment and autopsy facilities Veterinary hospital facilities as well as a pathology laboratory.
The rescue capability includes experienced teams with expertise in rescue operations who can be mobilized quickly to care for all marine animals. The team will be on call 24X7 throughout the year.
The center’s education department will hold workshops for students and host public events such as seminars and science talks with top marine scientists. It aims to inspire public commitment to ocean conservation by raising scientific awareness and promoting responsible behavior for the marine environment. The center is also committed to training the next generation of local marine scientists, as it will welcome university students to work in marine science and conservation within its research department.
Located next to Sea World Abu Dhabi, the center is by invitation and appointment only.