Aquarium opens for winter

An aquarium whose amorous eel recently gained international attention has revised its winter opening hours.

Six foot conger eel Rip made it known to staff at Macduff Marine Aquarium he had had enough of his easy life in the aquarium’s central exhibit and wanted to take his one chance at love in the Azores.

The story hooked in broadcasters from all over the UK, and as far afield as Canada and Brazil, with camera crews descending to capture Rip’s release into the Moray Firth.

Staff at the aquarium have worked hard to make savings on operational costs in response to reductions applied across Aberdeenshire Council’s visitor attractions budget.

The aquarium has revised its current opening hours and will reduce them from next week. (December 1)

It will now close for two days a week for the winter from December 1 until Easter 2012.

This means the aquarium will be open 11am-4pm from Saturday to Wednesday, closing to the public on Thursdays and Fridays.

The exception to this is the Christmas/New Year week when it will close on Christmas Day and only open on December 28, 29 and 30, before reopening on January 4.

Aquarium manager, Claire Matthews, said: “Whilst we are reducing access by two days a week, we can reassure everyone the care of the fish will not be affected as their welfare is paramount.

“We will continue to offer the same excellent visitor experience and learning opportunities as always, they will just be condensed into shorter hours.”