Aquarium touch tanks given a total makeover

Staff admire the new touch pools which are ready for the holiday visitors.
Staff admire the new touch pools which are ready for the holiday visitors.

A popular exhibit at Macduff Marine Aquarium has been given a total makeover in time for the October school holidays and the start of Shark Season

n.

Visitors to the marine centre have always had a chance to get up close to hardy seashore creatures at the touch tanks, but the aquarium’s rocky pools were getting old and beginning to crumble so it was time to change them.

The aquarium successfully applied for funding from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group (NESFLAG) to install new tanks and also to improve visual interpretation around the displays.

It had to be attractive and work well as an interactive exhibit, allowing visitors easy access to the live animals – but also providing areas for the animals to rest out of reach from exploring fingers.

Aquarium staff worked with specialist technicians to come up with the bespoke and unique tank. The starfish, hermit crabs, sea urchins and other creatures are getting used to their new environment.

In addition to the touch pools, a new shark hatchery has been installed, providing the optimum conditions for the development of baby sharks - the young dogfish and rays that breed at the aquarium. Another new tank now houses the delicate invertebrates such as brittle stars and feather stars.

Aquarium manager, Claire Matthews, said: “We hope that visitors also notice that there are new digital displays around the aquarium too, helping to give a deeper understanding of the Moray Firth’s amazing coast and marine life. We are very grateful for the EMFF/NESFLAG funding.”