Today Dana, Eric, and I went to the Two Oceans Aquarium at the Waterfront. I saw so many great things there; not only some amazing sea life, but also some great exhibit elements. The first thing I noticed was a cylindrical fish tank in the first room that said ‘NEMOS’ in very large lettering high up on the tank, so as soon as the kids walk into the aquarium, they can see that sign. Then inside the tank is an extremely large quantity of clownfish and a glass tube in the middle so kids can stand in the middle of the tank and have a bunch of clownfishswimaround their head. It’s just such a great idea since kids have such an affinity with Finding Nemo. The only thing that I would change about that tank would be the amount of clownfish in that tank. They seemed way too crowded, and about half of them were laying on top of the tube and couldn’t swim away because there were fish above them and all around them. Other than that, it was a great tank.
Another thing I loved at the aquarium was the red, orange, and green fish symbols they had on the labels of the edible fish in the Atlantic Ocean exhibit. If the fish had a green symbol, it means that it’s okay to buy that meat at the store or at a restaurant. If the fish was orange then it means that the fish meat atthe store or restaurant could have been illegally caught because only certain techniques for catching that fish are allowed and others (like dragging a large net across the sea floor) kill other sea life and are thereforeillegal. And of course the red fish means do not buy that kind of meat because it is completely illegal to catch that fish. I was pleasantly surprised to see that, especially since the aquarium is in a wealthy area of a seaside city, so ‘illegal’ fish may be present in certain markets and on a few menus.
My favorite part of the aquarium though was the fact that when the Rockhopper penguins moved from their outdoor area to their indoor exhibit, they walked through the public areas of the aquarium. One employee walked in front of them and another walked behind so they were safe the whole time. It was just so cool, and surprising, see them cross in front of you and walk down the hall into their exhibit.I think it’s a great way for people to feel like they are interacting with the penguins, without actually touching them or anything. And of course it brings a crowd to the penguin feed that soon follows. The Rockhoppers were fed first, then the African penguins. And the African penguin feeding was actually a really educational program where visitors were able to ask the penguin specialist anything they wanted.
Overall, it was a pretty great experience. I was very impressed and will most likely go again.