April 22, 2016
Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium has begun work on a unique new display for their giant Pacific octopus.
The new feature, which has been designed by marine biologists, will include a series of environmental enrichment initiatives and also enable greater interaction between aquarists and the octopus.
Themed as a rusting shipwreck, the display will feature underwater pipes and acrylic tubing which the octopus will be able to explore and rest in alongside shaded recesses and a variety of different textures – all designed to provide mental stimulation for the giant cephalopod.
“This is the first time we have had the opportunity to design an octopus display literally from the bottom up,” said Blue Reef Aquarium’s Steve Matchett.
“We’ve been able to incorporate specific knowledge gained from working closely with these amazing creatures to create a new feature which best suits their requirements while also providing us with much greater access and opportunities to interact.
“The shipwreck theme means we can build in different hiding areas and difficult to reach spaces which will mimic hunting activity in the wild.
“Having the display built here on site is also enabling us to make optimum use of the space and adapt the overall design as we go along to ensure we end up with the very best marine environment we can,” he added.
The new gangway, which runs along two sides of the display, will allow aquarists much greater opportunities to interact with the giant cephalopod and also means many more objects, tasks and activities can be incorporated in to the daily routine.
“Octopus have a good level of intelligence and appear to enjoy the chance to investigate and discover,” said Steve.
“They also develop a bond with the aquarists who look after them and this new display will allow that to take place more regularly in a safe and secure environment,” he added.
The new display has been jointly designed by the aquarium and Manchester-based Williams Architecture and is being constructed by aquatic display experts Nautilus, who have created innovative aquarium exhibits around the world.
The octopus display, which is being built opposite the existing tank, is due to be completed in time for Whitsun.
Issued by Blue Reef Aquarium. For more information please contact Steve Matchett on 01637 878134.