Ocean Park fish set for aquarium move

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 January, 2011, 12:00am

Ocean Park is moving the inhabitants of its Atoll Reef to the new Grand Aquarium over the next few weeks, but not all of the marine life will stay in the park after the relocation.

More than 2,000 marine animals will be transported down the hill to the new Aqua City facility on the park's waterfront, which is due to open at the end of the month.

However, the resident giant trevally would not be on show after the temporary closure of Atoll Reef for renovation yesterday, said the park's curator of aquariums, David Lai Yiu-nam. He explained that since it is a bigger, more aggressive fish, it could pose a danger to other species in the new aquarium. 'We may consider exchanging it for other fish with another aquarium,' he said.

Staff were also considering whether to keep green sea turtles in the new aquarium, because they may eat the artificial reef.

While some are leaving, around 150 new species, including bluefin tuna and a manta ray, will be joining.

'The manta ray is the largest ray species in the world. We are introducing a young one to our park, but it can grow up to five to six metres long,' Lai said.

The 250 species of fish and the water in the old aquarium will be transported to the new one using fish bags, special containers and cranes.

'It's a very challenging operation... Some of the small fish will have to be partially anaesthetised,' Lai said.

After the renovation of Atoll Reef, which opened in 1977, the park will have two major aquariums.

The Grand Aquarium, which will hold more than 5,000 fish of more than 400 species, will open on January 27. 'We expect a 15 per cent increase in visitors after the opening,' the park's chief executive, Tom Mehrmann, said.