US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

Coral World Sea LionsCoral World is pleased to announce that it is now a fully accredited member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. The Alliance is an international association representing marine life parks, aquariums, zoos, research facilities and professional organizations dedicated to the highest standards of care for marine mammals and to their conservation in the wild through public education, scientific study and wildlife presentations. Lee Kellar, general curator at Coral World, attended AAMPA’s annual meeting in Rivera Maya, Mexico in Feb. where he received a plaque recognizing that Coral World became an accredited member in 2015.

“The process to obtain accreditation is quite rigorous. I am proud that we achieved accredited membership status,” Kellar said. “Once we submitted our application and the alliance reviewed it, we had to make a presentation before the full membership at the association’s annual meeting April of 2015 in Washington, D.C. Several members of our staff participated.”

The process of joining the alliance begins with submission of an extensive accreditation application along with two letters of recommendation from current alliance members who have visited the facility and can attest that the applicant meets alliance standards. The presentation had to provide detail on the facility and its amenities; all marine mammal programs, currently Coral World’s sea lion programs; education, training, animal husbandry and veterinary care programs; food preparation; research activities; and a history on each marine mammal animal at the facility. In addition, a team of experts visited Coral World to perform an on-site inspection and evaluation to ensure full compliance with alliance standards.

AllianceGeneral Manager Trudie Prior expressed her gratitude to her staff for their efforts noting, “I had no doubt we would achieve accreditation. Our staff is totally dedicated to the welfare of the animals in their care and to educating the public about the importance of the oceans and the animals that inhabit them. As an alliance member, education will continue to be a top priority.”

Accredited members must uphold alliance standards and guidelines to optimize the psychological and physical health of, and environmental conditions for, individual marine mammals under their care, and to maximize the educational and scientific value of their collections as a whole.