SEA LIFE has launched a ‘canal clutter clean-up’ project across Manchester

A number of clean-ups have been organised by SEA LIFE Manchester throughout 2022.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 27th January 2022

SEA LIFE Manchester has launched a new initiative to help the conservation of Manchester’s canals, with a number of clean-ups organised throughout 2022.

SEA LIFE centres across the UK are known to be dedicated to the conservation and clean-ups of the nation’s beaches, but since our region is famous for having ‘everything but a beach’, the team at SEA LIFE Manchester has decided to shift their focus over to Manchester’s canals instead.

The team are now seeking the help of locals to volunteer for the clean-up programme.

Volunteers will not only get the chance to lend a hand in removing litter from the canals, but also help with the potential aquatic creatures that could be found in the city’s waters, according to SEA LIFE Manchester.

SEA LIFE Manchester explains that the main objective of the canal clean-up is “the conservation and de-cluttering of the channels”, but that’s not all, as volunteers will also be encouraged to keep a keen eye out for any terrapins or turtles living in the waterways for the UK citizen project ‘Turtle Tally’.


Turtle Tally is an ongoing study that’s aimed at collecting observational data on the locations where turtles and terrapins are spotted across the UK, and thanks to public input, organisations such as this one can collect information to understand more on this topic, and the wonderful sea (or canal) creatures. 

Through working with Turtle Tally, SEA LIFE Manchester says it is helping to “ascertain the impact” that “invasive species” such as these are having on British waterways.


On top of that, the project will raise awareness of dangers posed to native habitats, and also how non-native species can struggle to cope in the British climate.

Unfortunately, SEA LIFE Manchester says terrapins and turtles are often released by people who no longer want the creature as a pet, and they then end up suffering in the environment due to competition for food and basking sites.

Speaking on the new project, Matt Barker – Aquarist at SEA LIFE Manchester – said: “Here at SEA LIFE, we are constantly committed to the conservation of our waters, whether that be through our beach cleans, or in this instance, our canal clean-ups, and through these conservation efforts, we aim to create a healthier environment for marine life to thrive, whilst also encouraging others to think harder about the consequences of cluttering waterbodies.


“We hope to see plenty of local volunteers come down and help us in our latest conservation efforts.”

The upcoming 2022 clean-up dates are:

  • 26 March: 1-3pm
  • 28 April: 1-3pm
  • 26 May: 1-3pm
  • 25 June: 1-3pm
  • 14 July: 1-3pm
  • 11 August: 1-3pm
  • 15 September: 1-3pm
  • 6 October: 1-3pm

All volunteers will get free entry to SEA LIFE Manchester as a thank you, so for more information or to find out how to get involved, then you can visit the dedicated conservation page here.

Featured Image – SEA LIFE Manchester