Campaign background

CAPS was deeply concerned to hear that Manchester’s Trafford Shopping Centre, which is based very close to our headquarters, is developing plans to open a new aquarium on its site.

Our aquarium report, Suffering Deep Down, which was released some years ago, shed light on the aquarium industry and the serious concerns for animal welfare, conservation and ethics that are, sadly, simply part and parcel of the business of aquatic zoos. Establishing yet another aquarium in a busy shopping centre to make profit from holding animals captive is simply unacceptable.

The Trafford Centres states that it aims to be the “greenest shopping centre in the UK” and acknowledges on its website that “social, environmental and ethical concerns drive our customers in their choice of services” and that “our customers and staff demand that we address our impact on the world around us”. If these are genuine considerations for the company, then opening a zoo on the premises would appear to be in conflict with these values.

We requested the opportunity to meet with centre management to discuss concerns, but the request was refused. Their response is below:

“Nothing has yet been confirmed in relation to this proposal, but also as I said before, we are working with one of the world’s premier aquarium operators whose credentials in the marine area are impeccable, and whose reputation for responsible care, conservation and lobbying on marine subjects is acknowledged by expert organisations the world over.

“We are not in a position to be able to enter into any further discussion regarding this project at this stage, but would be happy to provide you with further information in due course”.

CAPS further contacted the centre’s parent company, Capital Shopping Centres, with the same request to meet but correspondence has been ignored. Unfortunately this means that, despite our best efforts, we have been prevented from sharing our views, and those of our thousands of supporters, with decision makers. From the centre’s response to us, it would appear that plans have not yet been finalised and so we hope that there is time to change their minds.

We are therefore calling upon supporters to join our campaign to oppose the plans and let the centre know that the proposals will not be supported.

What you can do!

Aquarium Action Step 1: Sign the Petition

Please sign and share the petition to oppose plans.

Click to sign the petition

Aquarium Action Step 2: Write to the Trafford Centre and Capital Shopping Centres to voice your opposition
Please take a few moments to send a polite email to the centre and parent company to ask them to reconsider plans.

Click here to email the Trafford Centre

Click here to email Capital Shopping Centres

Aquarium Action Step 3: Use our Facebook banner

Want to tell the world that you are opposed to the plans? You can upload the “Oppose Trafford Centre Aquarium” cover photo by clicking below

 Click to access image (then right-click and select Save Image option)

Aquarium Action Step 4: Order campaign postcards

Do you have a favourite store in the Trafford Centre? Will the presence of a zoo on the premises prevent you from continuing to use the site? If so, please order campaign postcards which can be sent to businesses in the centre to let them know why you won’t be shopping with them until plans are reconsidered. If you live in the Manchester area and have the means to distribute the cards, please let us know and we can send you a large number. Make sure you include your name, address and the number of postcards you require. If you are able to make a donation towards postage, it helps our resources go further.

 Click here to order postcards

Your support is more vital than ever. If you are not already a member of CAPS, please consider joining us. Your membership will mean you are kept up to date with our ongoing work and, most importantly, support our work campaigning for captive animals. Click HERE to join now. Thank you.

Photo: Dino van doorn [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons



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