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Sea Life Centre to raise funds

PUBLISHED: 12:34 09 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:44 03 July 2010

THE Sea Life Centre in Great Yarmouth is to stage a sponsored fish count to raise funds for a new turtle rescue centre.

Any child under 16 who can persuade 20 or more people to sponsor them, will get free admission on Saturday, January 31 to count as many sea creatures as they can.

THE Sea Life Centre in Great Yarmouth is to stage a sponsored fish count to raise funds for a new turtle rescue centre.

Any child under 16 who can persuade 20 or more people to sponsor them, will get free admission on Saturday, January 31 to count as many sea creatures as they can.

The youngster who raises the most cash will win a VIP trip for themselves and a parent or guardian, to Greek island Zakynthos where the new rescue facility is being built by wildlife group Earth, Sea and Sky, with the help of over £100,000 already raised by Sea Life centres across Europe.

Situated next to the island's National Marine Park it is 80-per-cent complete…and it is hoped it will open in time for the annual influx of breeding sea turtles in the spring.

But more cash is urgently needed to pay for fittings, life-support systems and equipment.

“Some adult loggerhead turtles inevitably end up injured by boats or fishing gear as they gather in nearby Laganas Bay to mate,” said Great Yarmouth Sea Life Displays Supervisor, Christine Pitcher.

“The new rescue centre will mean casualties no longer face a gruelling six hour journey to a rescue centre, in Athens. It will be manned by volunteers but will be dependent on donations to help cover running costs, food bills and veterinary bills for the foreseeable future.”

Christine and her colleagues hope the sponsored fish count will provide a valuable pre-launch boost to help get the facility finished and fully equipped.

Five UK Sea Life centres are taking part, and the most successful UK fundraiser will fly to the island in May, where he or she will meet up with winners from six other countries to visit the new Centre and take a catamaran trip to see the turtles in the Bay.

Loggerheads make between 1,000 and 2,000 nests on the island every summer, but loss of prime nesting beaches to tourist development and the deaths of many hatchlings drawn to seafront lights instead of the sea, has caused numbers to decline steadily.

Any youngster who would like to help can download the sponsor forms - which they must have authorised by a parent or guardian from the Sea Life website www.sealifeeurope.com. All children taking part in the event must be accompanied by an adult.

ends


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