Aquarium’s annual ‘fishy census’ to be held this month

A New Year stock-take with a difference is taking place later this month at Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium with its own version of a ‘fishy census’.

From Monday, January 26 to Sunday, February 1 staff undertake a comprehensive count of all their residents and this year they are inviting visitors to volunteer to help spot and record the number of certain species including tropical fish, sharks, turtles and rays.

The experts at Blue Reef will then carry out their own official count and the child who most accurately reports the population of the animals will win a free full year’s child membership to the aquarium.

Blue Reef’s Leanna Lawson said: “January has traditionally always been the time of year when we do an official check on all our stock numbers.

“We thought it would be a good idea to involve the visitors in the whole process as well and turn it into a fun activity that everyone can take part in.

“We’ve been fortunate to have experienced a large number of new births in 2014 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 sharks 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.”