The Ocean Conservation Trust is a global Ocean conservation charity and we recognise that if you want to conserve nature, you need to start with people.
We are committed to protecting and preserving our Ocean by starting exciting conversations and helping as many people as possible to connect with our Ocean. In parallel, we deliver innovative Ocean habitat restoration projects, to secure a future for the Ocean that we all rely on.
Our people based approach has been proven to work; there is a growing body of evidence that personal experiences and connectedness with nature are a foundation for lifelong support for conservation.
Our centre of Ocean excellence is based at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. There has been an aquarium in Plymouth since 1888, originally housed at the Marine Biological Association, but in 1998, a new, much larger aquarium was built in the city’s waterfront Barbican district, opening its doors as the National Marine Aquarium in 1998.
Building on our twenty-year history of running the National Marine Aquarium (the UK’s largest not for profit Aquarium) — the Ocean Conservation Trust is a natural progression to continue to take our work global.
Over the past 21 years, we have connected more than 2,900,000 people with the Ocean through face-to-face interactions at our centre of Ocean excellence in Plymouth, and a further 5 million people via our online platforms. We have also educated over 350,000 children school pupils about our Ocean, and have continued to support worldwide conservation projects, spanning 13 countries to date.
We have also conducted research exploring the potential for public aquariums to provide human health and well-being benefits. This research has particularly focused on how marine biodiversity (variety of marine life in an exhibit or in a natural environment) can influence a person’s mental and physical well-being. Results from this research have shown that aquariums can provide valuable ‘restorative’ experiences (reduced stress, greater relaxation, improvements in mood)
In addition, we have supported many student research projects, spanning subjects from animal husbandry to human behaviour.
We have worked with a huge number of partners who are prominent within the field of conservation, often being asked to be a part of projects due to our expertise in educating and communicating with a broad cross-section of the general public.
With our Ocean now in need of help more than ever before, our goal is to take our mission and approach worldwide. Over the coming years, we aim to inspire people in every corner of the planet to participate in creating a healthy Ocean, taking an optimistic approach and fostering an understanding that we can all do our bit to help.
Together, we can create a healthy Ocean for the benefit and enjoyment of all.
To find out more about our variety of projects, visit our Projects page.