The Primorsky Aquarium educates visitors on keeping our oceans clean

The Primorsky Aquarium educates visitors on keeping our oceans clean

On the 8th of June, the Primorsky Aquarium celebrated World Oceans Day. The event program consisted of an educative route through the exhibits, a fairy-tale performance “The Salmon Boy”, a series of lectures called “Small Secrets of Big Whales’, a number of workshops and a fascinating quest “Pirate’s Treasure”.

The celebration began with an educative route “Our ocean”, related to the problems of the world’s oceans.   Walking through the stations located at different exhibits, young and adult visitors learned about causes of coral bleaching, garbage islands in the world’s oceans, negative impact of oil spills on marine environment and Arctic ice melting.

“I liked the route: it was interesting. But I had some difficulties at the “garbage” station – I constantly lost count of trash items,” said Felix, a nine-year-old participant in the celebration. “And I have found out that corals can turn pale – they live under certain specific conditions, and when the sea water gets polluted, they may die. To protect the oceans, we should stop using plastic products and bags.”

A separate station was dedicated to the International Year of Salmon; there the participants got to know about the challenges the fish face over their lifetime: various predators, river and lake pollution, dams blocking the natural flows of rivers and illegal fishing.

“At each route point, visitors were not only informed about a problem but were also explained what each of us could do to preserve the world’s ocean, since the input of every individual is very essential to solving global problems,” said Diana Perebeinos, Senior Specialist at the Environmental Education Department. “After completing the route, each participant got a piece of the mega-puzzle, and at the end of the celebration the pieces were assembled to form a picture of a clean ocean.”

A traditional series of public lectures was given during the event. The lectures discussed some aspects of whale biology. The audience learned about mental capacity of cetaceans and heard of those times when the mammals had walked on land. The Head of the Laboratory for Marine Mammal Photo Identification, NSCMB, FEB RAS, Olga Tiurneva, told the attendees about monitoring of grey whales at oil production sites.

In the workshops the event participants made colourful pop-up greeting cards with a coral reef, a kelp forest and Arctic ices and decorated pebbles and sea shells with bright colours.

On World Oceans Day the Aquarium visitors could both watch and take part in the interactive stage production “The Salmon Boy” written by the Aquarium’s specialists and performed by young actors from the children’s theatre “Etude”. The stage play, which is based on a fairy tale by a local writer, Viktor Kvashin, tells a story about relationships between nature and humans and explains that people must not take from nature more than it can produce or more than they actually need.

In the walking area of the Aquarium children enjoyed a captivating quest, during which they were to find treasures hidden by a pirate.

The celebration also included an award ceremony for the winners of the Sea Reflection art-contest. The best entries are on display at the Aquarium’s gallery till the 8th of July.