Falmouth Aquarium is now open, there's something for everyone and it is sure to be one of the best things to do in Falmouth.
Falmouth Aquarium has opened it's doors to the public after months of hard working creating this brand new atttraction for the town.
The new aquarium features tropical fish as well as native marine life. The owners have secured exhibits from the Natural History Museum in Washington and are providing a lab for scientists from Falmouth's Marine School.
The aquarium will hold workshops, meetings and lectures for the public on marine conservation and education.
One of the attractions will be an X-ray exhibit, showing what sharks, eels, fish and other marine species look like on the inside.
Broadcaster David Dimbleby and CBeebies have been some of the first visitors to the aquarium and given it a resounding thumbs up.
Deputy Town Mayor, Marie Ryan, described the new attraction as 'fabulous.'
'This is what we need,' she said. 'Falmouth is a holiday resort and a marine town. We didn't have an aquarium - but now we do!
'They have got a lot of knowledge here and I think in Falmouth we want to be able to attract schools and have someone to explain everything to the children.'
Town manager Richard Gates was equally enthusiastic about the aquarium.
'I encourage people to come in, see what's going on and spend some time looking in the tanks - you might be surprised by what you'll find,' he said.
Below, Johanna Naradzay, explains how her's and Barry Pope's idea for setting up the aquarium came about...
Barry and I have always been passionate about marine conservation. We met in Honduras where he owned a dive shop and had been diving for most of his life.
I was working at the Marine Park, establishing an invasive species program and assisting with grants. That was three years ago.
We have been living in Falmouth for the past two years, where we have been involved in the local conservation groups. Cornwall boasts some of the most diverse marine life around the United Kingdom. Barry had been volunteering at the Lobster Hatchery where he thought, a charitable Aquarium, in Falmouth – why not? So we started to do some research and the idea began to develop.
The more that we spoke with local businesses, the town council, and conservation groups, the more that we saw that an aquarium could benefit the town; There is a need that the Falmouth Aquarium fills, where Falmouth and the area surrounding would improve from having more quality tourist attractions.
It will raise awareness on the marine treasures and emphasise the history on our doorstep. We founded the Aquarium as a charity, based on the mission to educate the public on Cornish marine life and the greater significance of marine conservation around the world.
As part of our mission, we want to engage all local stakeholders from businesses, local marine organisations and community led groups.
We will provide a forum for workshops, gatherings, space, lectures, and family days. Our partners include several academic institutions in order to train students with practical work experience in the field.
The fascinating part about this project is that you could say we have been working on it for years, through our practical experience in the field.
Barry’s love of marine life began when he learned to dive years ago, and while he set up a dive shop in the Carribean, he was involved with the protection of the reef and assisted with developing its first Marine Protected Area on the island.
I have been working for marine conservation charities in developing countries for the past few years, and when we met, we went to Greece to work on the beaches protected endangered loggerhead turtles.