Florida baseball team to have ballpark aquariums

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American baseball team, the Florida Marlins, have proposed plans for two saltwater tanks to serve as a backdrop to the home plate in their new ballpark opening in 2012.

The two tanks will house native Southern Florida marine fish alongside corals and a reef setup. The tanks will be set to either side of the home plate; the aquarium to the right of the home plate will measure 34 feet long and will hold over 600 gallons, while the left tank will measure 24 feet and hold 400 gallons.

The tanks will be made from a mixture of acrylic, an inch and a half thick, and surrounded by bulletproof glass which should reduce the chances of the fish being distressed by vibrations should an errant baseball fly their way and also to prevent any risk of shattering. 

The health and safety of the inhabitants has been an important part of the design process, according to the Marlins home website, and the tanks will employ cutting-edge technology to ensure the fish are kept healthy, and be provided by a leading custom-design aquarium company.

Marlin’s owner says, "Our new ballpark will be the pride of Miami and will showcase many of our community's great attributes.  From the distinctive local ballpark cuisine and magnificent city views, to our unique home plate aquariums - nothing will better symbolise South Florida than our new ballpark. And as we quickly approach our 2012 opening, we look forward to unveiling new, exclusive features that will make our ballpark one of the greatest in the country."

PETA have already begun to protest about the idea of using live fish in a situation that will be stressful to them, according to NBCMiami.

"Being exposed to the loud crowds, bright lights, and reverberations of a baseball stadium would be stressful and maddening for any large animals held captive in tanks that, to them, are like bathtubs,'" PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman wrote to the Marlins.

Apparently, PETA have proposed alternatives to stocking the tanks with actual fish, including using robotic fish, as the main purpose of the tanks is aesthetic.  

The stadium is due to open in 2012, and possibly to the tune of PETA protests.