Power failure kills hundreds of fish at Plymouth aquarium

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A power failure caused by storms sweeping through the West Country on Tuesday night has killed more than 200 fish in the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth.

The loss of power on November 16 caused the Atlantic Reef tank, one of the largest in Britain, to drain as the building management and life support systems were knocked out, but the pumps continued to function.

Staff returning to work on Wednesday morning were greeted with the sight of an almost empty tank and hundreds of dead and dying marine creatures. 

Despite working tirelessly to rescue the unfortunate denizens of the tank, most of them still perished. 

The victims included Caesar the Stone Bass, which was a firm favourite with visitors and staff, as well as conger eels, turbot, bass, pollock, grey mullet, horse mackerel and wrasse. 

According to aquarium curator Paul Cox, "There are probably about 30 or so that survived, but even some of them are fairly worrying."

The Atlantic Reef will be closed until the tank can be restocked and possibly re-themed.  This is expected to take at least two months.  "It's a slow process to restock, because fish as large as these wouldn't be seen in the wild so they're unique," added Paul Cox.