ATLANTA (May 1, 2018) – Georgia Aquarium is aware a planned protest on Saturday, May 12, 2018 as part of an animal extremist-led movement, Empty the Tanks Day. These protests are misguided in their attacks on accredited zoos and aquariums and misunderstand the mission that all of them strive to achieve: to provide exceptional animal care, educate millions about our world ocean, and conserve our natural world. These extremist groups also attempt to spread misinformation about animal care at accredited zoological institutions, their quality of life, and longevity with an ultimate goal of releasing marine mammals or relocating them to sea pens.

Georgia Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA), and was one of the first in the world to be Certified Humane by the American Humane Association (AHA). All of these organizations are built on a foundation of promoting the highest standards of care to all animals in all their member facilities.

All of the animals at Georgia Aquarium, and all accredited facilities, receive high-level preventative care, nutritious food, and are enriched through training and their closely monitored environments. Empty the Tanks ignores peer-reviewed science that has proven that animals thrive and live longer in human care than in nature.

The mission to release marine mammals in aquariums or relocate them to sea pens would not only be harmful to all those animals in question, but would deny millions of people the opportunity to learn, discover, and be inspired by the aquatic world. Animal experts, researchers, students, and educators would not have the opportunity to receive the remarkable gift of discovery through witnessing aquatic life first-hand; many of whom may not visit an ocean in their lifetime.  

We honor our commitment as one of the leading non-profits dedicated to educating millions each year, providing exceptional animal care, and conserving our magnificent ocean. Georgia Aquarium hopes, as always, to work together with all those that care for our environment and the unique animals that inhabit it that need our help now, more than ever.