Fishy stock take at Blue Reef

Counting fish at Blue Reef
Counting fish at Blue Reef

AN aquarium is inviting visitors to take part in its annual fish census this weekend.

Blue Reef Aquarium, in Rock-a-Nore Road, started its stock take last Saturday (January 7) and it ends this Sunday.

During the event, the aquarium is inviting people to volunteer to help spot and record the number of certain species including seahorses, mudskippers, stingrays and lionfish.

The experts at the attraction will then do an official check and the child who most accurately reports the population of each of the above animals will win a year’s free membership to the aquarium for them and their family.

Blue Reef’s Chris Ireland said: “Traditionally we have always done an official check on the aquarium’s stock numbers at the start of the new year.

“We’ve been fortunate to have experienced a large number of new births in 2011 including baby sharks, seahorses and jellyfish so there’s plenty to keep us all busy.

“Last year we decided to invite our visitors to join in the whole process as well and turn it into a fun activity that everyone can take part in rather than a boring chore.

“The shark and rays are usually fairly easy to count, although there are a number of species that like to spend much of their time either hidden among the rocks or under the sand.

“The seahorses and pipefish can be a little tricky and jellyfish are always something of an estimate, particularly if there are lots of juveniles in a single display and some of the flatfish are so well camouflaged you have to have a very keen eye.”