The Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town has introduced the first fish into its new large-scale exhibit, the I&J Ocean Exhibit, following two and a half years of construction.
This is the first exhibit of its kind in South Africa with a 10-metre-long tunnel. The main viewing window is a continuous nine-metre-wide panel that is four metres high and weighs 22 tonnes.
A new Jelly Gallery forms the entrance to the Ocean Exhibit and houses various species of jellyfish.
The I&J Ocean Exhibit is set to house giant guitarfish, rays, bonito, yellowfin tuna, Yoshi, the Aquarium’s resident loggerhead turtle, and more.
“This magnificent exhibit aims to capture the public’s attention and presents us with an opportunity to inspire action for the future well-being of our oceans,” said Michael Farquhar, CEO of the Two Oceans Aquarium.
The aquarium is also preparing to close down the old I&J Predator Exhibit and Ocean Basket Kelp Forest Exhibit for renovations.
The predator exhibit will reopen as a completely new exhibit housing sharks and other species still to be confirmed. Both exhibits will reopen in 2017.
With more than 3000 marine creatures on view – including sharks, turtles and penguins – the Two Oceans Aquarium is one of the finest aquariums in the world.
Situated in Portswood Square at the V&A Waterfront, the aquarium showcases the unique marine life of the Atlantic and Indian oceans which lie on either side of the Cape of Good Hope.
The inviting and often interactive displays offer an educational and entertaining experience that will appeal to young and old alike. The galleries presenting South Africa’s rich aquatic life include:
Oceans of Contrast – Atlantic Ocean Gallery: Allows visitors a peek into the life of the cold Atlantic Ocean. Come face to face with translucent jellyfish, see a tiny, rare Knysna seahorse for the first time and introduce yourself to the giant spider crabs that call the Two Oceans Aquarium home.
Oceans of Contrast – Indian Ocean Gallery: Showcases six exhibits of marine life from the warm Indian Ocean. Look out for the orange-and-white-striped Nemo (the anemonefish) and his buddies and a wealth of other brightly coloured fish found in the Indian Ocean’s coral reefs.
Sappi River Meander: This exciting exhibit traces the journey of a typical Western Cape river from its mouth at the ocean to its origins as a stream high up in the mountains. Here, visitors can also view the colony of penguins up close, as they hang out in their natural habitat.
Kelp Forest Exhibit: One of the aquarium’s biggest drawcards, the enchanting underwater forest is home to shoals of silver fishes shimmering through the sunlight.
Afrisam Children’s Centre: Fun activities are on offer for kids between the ages of four and ten – there are puppet shows, face painting and supervised arts and crafts activities.