AQUARIUM INVITES VISITORS TO MEET SPIKE THE SEAHORSE AND FRIENDS

Visitors to Bristol Aquarium will have the chance to come face to face with hundreds of captive bred seahorses as part of Seahorse Extravaganza (May 11th – 12th) a celebration of one of the marine world’s most magical creatures.

The Harbourside attraction is devoting the entire weekend to the seahorse, a creature that has captivated humans since the dawn of civilization. Visitors will be able to discover all about the secret life of these amazing fish and the dangers they face in the wild.

Since opening in 2009 the aquarium has been developing a highly successful captive breeding programme for seahorses.

The programme has proved so successful, the aquarium is now able to provide other sites with captive-bred youngsters.

Bristol Aquarium curator Dan de Castro said: “We are currently looking after around 500 seahorses here at the aquarium including the Australian big bellied seahorse, which is one of the largest species in the world.
“In addition to the main seahorse display, visitors can also view a selection of our baby seahorses, at various stages of development, in our nursery tanks,” he added.
Aquarists will also be holding a series of special feeding demonstrations, talks and displays aimed at raising awareness of these graceful but sadly endangered creatures.
Younger visitors will even be able to take part in a seahorse quiz trail throughout the aquarium.
The seahorse is unique in the animal kingdom in that it is the male rather than the female which carries the babies and gives birth to them via a special brood pouch on their stomach.

In the wild virtually all of the approximate 35 species of seahorse are now under threat from a variety of sources. These include loss of habitat, pollution, the souvenir trade and traditional Far East medicine – believed to account for the deaths of more than 20 million seahorses annually.

The big-bellied seahorses at Bristol Aquarium are part of a captive-breeding programme which aims to ease the pressure on wild populations.

Issued by the Bristol Aquarium. For more information please contact Tina Patel, David Waines or Dan de Castro 0117 934 0944.