The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth is hosting an event called ‘Sea The Difference’ during the Easter break. About 1000 people a day are visiting the Eddystone tank, where the event is being held. About 14 different organisations are coming over on different days and show what they do. Today on the 5th of April, 8 people are in.
There is the Shark Trust, the Marine Biological Association, they have a stand themselves, the community Seagrass Initiative, the RSPB, Wembury Marine Center and the Plymouth University Marine Institute. Paul Botterill, host supervisor at the National Marine Aquarium is proud of the event being held. “It’s a really nice way to connect with local people and with all the good work that has been going on,” says Botterill. “Everyone does something slightly different, but with the same in mind: the environment.” There are also a couple of different shows going on, which start at 1 o’clock each day.
Environment vs locked up fish
The National Marine Aquarium is really caring about the environment and with the well-being of the fish. But we hear more and more that locking these fish up in ’cages’ is animal cruelty. Paul makes sure that there is no need to worry. “We have a huge amount of care, ethics and we would never keep a fish in our aquarium that isn’t going to be okay in our tanks. We have a lot of monitoring that makes sure that they are stress-free, healthy and that they are well-fed.”
They are busy doing trainings and playing and also doing research to find out which species go along together and which ones they can keep together for their entire life. “It would be wonderful if every aquarium would take care of it and thought about the environment the way we do,” says Paul. “The Eddystone tank is the largest native offering in Britain, it contains 500.000 litres of water. This is giant.
We need to be aware that we are also doing progress with saving the environment. Since the rule of 5p charge on plastic bags came in, just the UK has used 7 billion less plastic bags, that’s an 80% reduction. “It’s huge and it doesn’t only come from the awareness of the problem, but the connection to the animals,” says Botterill. “This is why we are here and why we are doing it. Everything that we do is with the environment in mind. Everyone who works here is a big fish- and nature lover.”