Scribbler in Seville

Fishy business: Seville’s new aquarium

Still from a video about how they moved the shark from an aquarium in neighbouring Portugal to the new aquarium in Seville.

Still from a video about how Margarita the bull shark was carefully transported from an aquarium in neighbouring Portugal to her new home in Seville.

It’s been far, far too long since my last blog post. It’s not that I’m short of ideas – quite the opposite – more that other things take precedence, like work, kids, donkeys (more about that soon).

So coming back with a blast, here is Scribbler in Seville on the city’s newest visitor attraction: the Aquarium.

Situated, appropriately enough, by the river, it opened last week, and I had a look around with all the other local press. The aquarium has 7,000 animals, from tiny fish to sharks, both freshwater and marine.

The Great River, Guadalquivir, starting point of Magellan's voyage - and for your journey through the aquarium's marine life.

Al-Wadi Al-Kabir (the Great River), so-called by the Moors who ruled Sev ille for 500 years, starting point of Magellan’s voyage – and for your journey through the aquarium’s marine life.

Freshwater fish: carp and sturgeon.

Freshwater fish: carp and sturgeon.

Taking the round-the-world voyage of Magellan, which departed from Seville in 1519, as its theme, the place takes us on our own journey from the waters of the Guadalquivir, via the Canary Islands, to the Amazon. At the oficial opening which I attended, we were also shown a video about the transportation of the star attraction, Margarita the bull shark (how fitting for Seville), from her previous home in Portugal.

The 400 species are well displayed in 35 tanks, although if you’re used to large-scale aquaria like the London one, this is small by comparison. I also think it’s somewhat overpriced, at 15 euros for adults and 10 euros for children. That said, it is fun, educational and interesting – information about each species in a tank is shown on small LCD displays for a few seconds, so if you spot something you like, you have to wait for it to come round again. Here are some inhabitants.

A sea cucumber, in the special "Touch Touch" area.

A sea cucumber, in the special “Touch Touch” área.

Starfish can be gently picked up.

Starfish can be gently picked up.

You can touch sea urchins, though watch out for those spikes.

You can touch sea urchins, though watch out for those spikes.

Rock pool - but no buckets or nets, obviously.

Rock pool – but no buckets or nets, obviously.

There’s one area, calle Touch Touch (sounds better in Spanish: Toca Toca), where you can, guess what, (very gently) feel the creatures – including sea cucumbers, starfish and sea urchins.

The "nursery" of the aquarium has fish roe.

One of the “babies” of the aquarium: skate eggs.

Little sacs containing fertilised fish eggs, known as mermaid's purses.

Little sacs containing fertilised fish eggs, known as mermaid’s purses.

In the “nursery” you can see roe of skate, and egg cases.

A slippery customer, this giant octopus didn't want to pose for a photo.

A slippery customer, this giant octopus didn’t want to stop waving his tentacles about.

A sole lying flat on the sandy floor - perfect camouflage.

A sole lying flat on the sandy floor – perfect camouflage.

Press getting their first view of the shark tank.

Press getting their first view of the shark tank.

A bull shark in the massive Oceanarium.

A bull shark in the massive Oceanarium.

But the main attraction of the Aquarium is the massive Oceanarium, nine metres deep and one of the largest shark tanks in Europe containing two female bull sharks, one of which is called Margarita, as well as tuna, grouper and mackerel. You can walk right underneath this tank, though the tunnel, as well as seeing it through many different windows.

One of my favourite features in any aquarium is the brightly-coloured tropical fish, which you can see in the Tropical Cove and Coral Reefs. Striped, spotted,

A ray, the most elegant swimmer of all, with its "wings".

A ray, the most elegant swimmer of all, with its “wings”.

A scary-looking scorpion fish.

A scary-looking scorpion fish.

Beautiful fish.

Beautiful tropical fish.

Another beauty.

Another beauty.

and one of my personal favourite, the flamenco fish.

and one of my personal favourite, the flamenco fish (my name for it).

The non-fish inhabitants include anacondas (large aquatic snakes) and caimans (small crocodiles), but personally I don’t much care for them. Turtles, however, are wonderful animals. The Aquarium has a turtle recovery programme which will see the reptiles released into the wild in Almeria’s Cabo de Gata.

A turtle, part of their recovery programme.

A turtle, part of their recovery programme.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the Aquarium is situated by the river, on Calle Santiago Montoro. This is close to the Puente Delicias, with the entrance off the roundabout by the 1929 Expo Pavilions of Morocco and Colombia, which sit on the corner Avenida de la Palmera and Avenida de las Razas.

Entrance prices are 15 euros for adults and 10 euros for children, disabled and OAPs. Opening hours in October are 10am-8pm Monday to Thursday and 10am-9pm Friday to Sunday. For more information see acuariosevilla.es

12 thoughts on “Fishy business: Seville’s new aquarium

  1. Sophie RR

    I struggle a bit with the idea of zoos and aquariums, but there is no doubt that kids love them and they are a great rainy day option as well as educational. We used to be regular visitors to the Alumñécar aquarium. It’s also great to hear about recovery programme for the turtles. Great turtle shot by the way!

    1. fionafloreswatson Post author

      Agree with you, cages and tanks aren’t really my bag either, but I guess there’s always the conservation angle. That’s one of the reasons why I didn’t put the caimán picture in there, as they were all squished up in a corner of their tank, which I found a bit alarming. The turtle was way easier to photograph than a constantly wiggling fish!!

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    1. fionafloreswatson Post author

      Thanks Emma! Lots of lovely and fascinating beasties, such as the sea urchins, but I missed seeing the jellyfish with UV lights which they have at the London Aquarium.

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