We are the Ocean Conservation Trust

Over 25 years ago, a dynamic group of marine scientists, educators and divers came together to create a charity that would showcase some of the amazing habitats and animals found in a healthy and vibrant Ocean.

What started with a vision to create the UK’s National Aquarium, led that team on a journey to expand the Aquarium’s ethos beyond the coast of Plymouth, to a charity working around the world towards a healthier Ocean. 

Here’s a few of the many amazing highlights in our charity’s history so far. A flavour of what came before, that has led us to where we are today.

1998 – The National Marine Aquarium and the charity who called it home opened to the general public. Opened by the Duke of Edinburgh the Aquarium set out to act as a window to the Ocean. Explore.

2000 – Our grants programme was launched to support grassroots conservation projects around the world, from Japan to Cornwall, we’ve worked with local communities to leave a positive legacy. Explore our grants programme.

2006 – Even then we know climate change was going to impact our planet, so we installed an interactive exhibit in our Aquarium to raise awareness with the public who visited us. Explore our latest climate campaign.

2010 – Our bespoke Ocean Education centre opened meaning we now welcome around 30,000 physical visits to connect with the marine environment. Explore our education programme.

2013  – We began our decade of work focusing on seagrass habitat loss in the U.K. Explore our seagrass work.

2014 – We launched an innovative conservation project working with hotels in Mauritius to protect local coral reefs. Raising awareness of the link between the Ocean and the Climate. Explore how the climate is connected to the Ocean here.

2016 – We launched a national sustainable seafood campaign, connecting UK consumers with local produce. Explore our seafood work.

2017 – We launched an Ocean experience club for young teens. A week long activity to connect young teens with the Ocean in a fun and engaging way. Explore our Ocean squad programme.

2018 – We welcomed our fantastic Ambassadors Sir Ben and Lady Ainslie to our charity. See our current Ambassadors.

2019 – We renamed the charity that ran our Aquarium, programmes and restoration work. Creating the Ocean Conservation Trust as a new and innovative charity that wasn’t afraid to break the mould. Explore how you can get involved with our charity.

2019 – We started guest lecturing on the University of Plymouth Marine Conservation Masters Course.

2020 – We received funding for LIFE E.U funded project, remit of involvement education and restoration of seagrass. Explore our seagrass project.

2021 – We launched the #thinkocean challenge, designed to empower people to discover ways they can support the Ocean based on their personality. Take the challenge.

2022 – Watch this space… 

Then and now, the Ocean Conservation Trust team recognises that to many, the Ocean is out of sight and out of mind. The understanding of the current state of our Ocean’s health and of the impact our behaviour is having on it is limited.

How can you help?

There are many ways that you can get involved with the work we do. From donating to our cause to supporting our work in other ways, you can find out more in our ‘Get Involved’ section here.

Find out more

Get Involved