March 9, 2017
Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium is giving its animals a ‘Fish-tastic’ time as part of new scheme.
The Rock-a-Nore Road attraction has embarked on a new enrichment programme aiming to provide added mental and physical stimulation to its collection.
Animal enrichment is a way for aquarists to encourage and stimulate natural behaviours in animals through sight, smell, taste, touch, and interaction.
Enrichment increases the animal’s welfare, exercise and natural foraging behaviour.
The new scheme has been implemented after one of the aquarium’s aquarists, Lauren Winstanley, attended a three day workshop put on by The Shape of Enrichment in Brighton.
Aquarist Lauren said: “Enrichment is very common in zoos but people don’t expect it in aquariums as they do not realise how clever fish can be,
“Just the other day we gave our Giant Pacific Octopus a screw top jar containing mackerel fillet and after an hour and a half he had opened the jar to get the tasty treat!
“The aim is to make the animals work for their food, as they would do in the wild, it also keeps them entertained and stimulated.”
Blue Reef Aquarium wants to let visitors know not to be alarmed if they see items that could be mistaken as litter in the displays, such as plastic bottles, as they are being used as toys.
Just as you would give your pet at home toys to play with, the same is needed for the animals at the aquarium.
It also means that the sea creatures and reptiles will be more interactive with visitors and on display for guests to see.
Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium takes visitors on an undersea voyage from the drama of the British coastline to the spectacular ‘underwater gardens’ of the Mediterranean and the dazzling beauty of exotic tropical reefs.
Highlights include the open top ray tanks showcasing local species and the spectacular ocean reef display, complete with its own 15-metre-long underwater walkthrough tunnel.
Issued by Blue Reef Aquarium. For more information and to arrange interviews, picture or filming opportunities please contact Leanna Lawson or Chrissie Daniels on 01424 718776.