Sparsholt students help move London Aquarium's fish

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Students from Sparsholt College, Hampshire, have been helping at the London Aquarium as work begins on its 5 million redevelopment.

The redevelopment " set to include the construction of an ~Ocean Walk tunnel through the aquarium's Atlantic Ocean display tank " is due to be completed by Easter.

The 11 students, all of whom are currently on the National Diploma in Fish Management (Ornamental Fish), were invited to aid the aquarium's dive team in the capture and removal of fish from their changing displays.

400 fish movedThe students helped seine net and catch out in excess of 400 native marine fish of 14 different species, Iain Grieve, an Instructor at Sparsholt College s National Aquatics Training Centre, told Practical Fishkeeping.

We re very, very cautious in the way that we capture these animals and move them, aquarium curator Paul Hale told ITN News. It s a little stressful for them. But we ve allowed for that, and we ve got a rest here for them in quarantine before they re being transported out to other Sea Life Centres.

The Atlantic Ocean tank is the London Aquarium s second largest display, holding 750,000 litres; all of which will need to be drained to allow for the construction of the new tunnel.

New displaysOnce completed, 100 new species " including sea turtles " will be stocked into various new displays, located around the London Aquarium's redesigned zones.

I believe it benefited the students in a multitude of ways, said Grieve. Fish handling techniques, large scale movements of live fish, acclimation and water quality checking.

"Opportunities to be part of a large aquarium refit don t come around very often.

The London Aquarium will remain open throughout the redevelopment; however certain displays " including the coral reef area, jellyfish and the stingray pool " will be temporarily unavailable for viewing.