BBC News reports that eighteen species of fish will be flown from Ocean Park in Barbados to a new home at the National Marine Aquarium. The 42-ton consignment of 100 fish, in 19 specially-constructed tanks, is said to be the biggest ever shipment of live fish into the UK.
The fish are expected to make their UK public debut on 20 October. The aquarium’s head biologist and the head of science and learning are flying to Barbados on Saturday on a Boeing 767, costing in excess of £100,000 to charter, to ensure all the preparations are in place for the fish’s flight.
The journey is expected to take 30 hours. The plane will fly to Canada to refuel before landing at Heathrow. The consignment will then be flown to Exeter Airport, where large cranes will off-load it into three articulated trailer trucks which will then be driven in convoy – with a police escort – to the aquarium in Plymouth. The fish will then spend four weeks in quarantine before being transferred to the two-million liter Atlantic Ocean display tank ready for public viewing.
John Couch, National Marine Aquarium spokesman, said: “It is a very exciting time for the aquarium. Our Atlantic Ocean tank already contains sand tiger sharks but we will be adding a range of other fish species, including nurse sharks, reef sharks, spotted eagle rays and southern sting rays. We have obtained the fish for a nominal fee from Ocean Park in Barbados who were offering them to aquariums because they are changing the focus of their exhibitions and no longer require them.”
For the full BBC report go to http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/devon/8248111.stm