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Two Oceans Aquarium
V & A Waterfront
In the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town there is an aquarium that has been in operation for about 10 years
The aquarium is very interesting to visit and has a number of large exhibits as well as many smaller ones.
The Main Exhibit is the I & J predator exhibit which contains 2 million litres of water and is the home of the large ocean predators, the sharks.
Last week there was some excitement in the tank when one of the ragged tooth sharks “ Maxine” had to be caught.
She had been there for nine years and had grown too large so had to be released.
Maxine is like a cat, she has had three lives. First she was captured in the shark nets near Durban tagged and then released.
In 1995 she was caught by a fisherman near Struisbaai and was handed over to the aquarium for their predator tank.
Before Maxine could be released she had to be captured with a net in the main tank and then moved into another tank on the back of a truck to be transported a 150 kilometres out of Cape Town to a small town called Struisbaai near Cape Agulhas, the southern most point of Africa.
On arrival in Struisbaai harbour she had to be lifted out of her tank in a sling and dropped into another tank on board a boat to be transported out to the Saxon reef near Arniston where she was released.
When she was lowered into the water she swam away slowly into the depths.
After her release cameramen followed her underwater to film her in her new environment.
As she has been tagged the aquarium will be able to monitor her movements.
Nimo and friends
Back in the Two Oceans Acquarium in Cape Town the” Kelp Forest” is another large exhibit.
It's lovely to sit in front of this tank and watch the fish swimming through the kelp.
It's a really beautiful setting and very relaxing to watch.
The tank has 800000 litres of water in it.
To keep the water in the tanks in good condition the entire water supply is changed every 10 days.
There are also a number of filters which filter out waste materials and toxins that might build up in the tanks.
The tanks are very susceptible to diseases and the fish die easily if the water is not properly maintained.
As you move through the complex there are a number of other exhibits as well.
The touch pool where there are live exhibits such as shell fish and sea weeds amongst other exhibits.
Many of the under privileged kids who visit the aquarium have never seen the sea or touched a fish and this area provides a great teaching tool.
In the Diversity hall is a skeleton of a Southern Right Whale which was killed when it picked a fight with a large container ship.
The whale washed up near Scarborough in July 1996 and the bones were collected in November of the same year thanks to a sponsorship from a local bank.
After a visit to the aquarium I am always in trouble with my wife.
I love to go fishing and tell her how nice it would be to hook one of the fat fish you can see swimming in the acquarium.
“The fish are so beautiful.” she says “Why do you want to catch them?”
Of course, she will never understand the pleasure that fishing gives one.
Next time you visit Cape Town why not visit the aquarium. It will be an afternoon well spent.
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Acquarium V & A Waterfront Cape Town