Melbourne Aquarium today officially unveiled “Seahorse Pier”, an all new exhibit which features the world’s largest collection of species from the Seahorse family, and celebrates the extraordinary variety of amazing underwater animals found right on Melbourne’s doorstep.
The new exhibit takes visitors underneath one of Victoria’s bayside piers, where they will experience a rainbow of stunning colours and weird and wonderful creatures in their new, mystically-themed underwater wonderland.
The Seahorse, or Syngnathid, Family includes seadragons, pipefish, razorfish and, or course, seahorses and over 100 individuals now call Melbourne Aquarium home, including Victoria’s marine emblem, the beautiful Weedy seadragon.
As well as showcasing the Seahorse family, the exhibit also allows visitors to tour the colourful depths of spectacular underwater gardens found in Australia’s southern oceans, with multi-coloured real-life coral exhibits an amazing example of this.
Together with the new displays, the exhibit is also home to Melbourne Aquarium’s internationally-recognised weedy seadragon breeding program and dedicated Seahorse Breeding Facility.
The most successful in the world, offspring from Melbourne Aquarium’s Weedy seadragon breeding program are currently housed in aquariums around throughout the globe.
“It is our aim to captive breed as many species as we can. We can then share our offspring with aquariums around the globe without relying on wild populations,” said Exhibit Manager, Alison Edmunds.
“The new Seahorse Breeding Facility will allow aquarists to not only breed, but undertake research and study these unique animals of which so little is known.
The exhibit took two months to theme and populate. Melbourne Aquarium’s Aquarists worked around the clock to make each display unique, designing and creating real-life coral reefs, and acclimatizing new animals flying in from around Australia and the world.
Melbourne Aquarium’s General Manager, Richard Barrett, said the development reaffirms the aquarium’s position as a Victorian tourism leader by offering a whole new experience for visitors to Melbourne.
“The new Seahorse Pier exhibit will enhance Melbourne Aquarium’s tourism offering, delivering a new interactive, entertaining and “Australian only” experience in which to educate local and international visitors about our local aquatic environment,” said Mr Barrett.
The new Seahorse Pier exhibit will also enhance Melbourne Aquarium’s function and event business - Five Star Functions - providing one of the newest and most unique event spaces in Melbourne.
Seahorse Pier will also offer a new education space for Underwater Zoo students to be inspired about the amazing underwater world.
From 26 December 2012 until 31 January 2013, Melbourne Aquarium will become a school holiday fun zone with daily interactive presentations, animal feeds and heaps of exciting Seahorse art and craft activities, and Seahorse Discovery Zone.
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