Present and future
Research and Educational Centre «Primorsky Aquarium», Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences.
The Primorsky Aquarium of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences is being built at the request of the President of the Russian Federation.
There will be an exhibit building with a Dolphinarium in the aquarium. There will be a research center located nearby.
The exhibit building, which is designed in the shape of a shell, will be a masterpiece of architecture and design. It is designed for exhibits and visitors, as well as research laboratories. Even now the building amazes with its size. It is 150 meters wide, and overall size is about 35 000 square meters.
The total volume of water in the Primorsky aquarium will be about 25,000 tons. For reference, the largest aquarium in the world that is located in a single building, like ours, has total volume of water of about 30 000 tons (Atlanta, USA). There are even larger aquariums, for example, the aquarium in Valencia, Spain, which has 42,000 tons of water, but its tanks are located in several buildings.
The volume of the tanks in the exhibit building is more than 10,000 cubic meters. The two biggest tanks will hold about 7,000 tons, which is equal to the volume of 120 railroad tank cars. The thickness of the acrylic window in the biggest tank will be nearly 0.6 meters. Visitors will be able to observe life of the marine inhabitants through the glass of the underwater tunnel which is 2.5 meters wide, 70 meters long, and is equipped with a moving path.
The underwater worlds of the all five oceans will be represented in the Primorsky Aquarium. There will be around 800 species of marine and fresh water inhabitants, including invertebrates, fish, birds and marine mammals, displayed in thematic exhibits. The complex of different sized tanks will allow visitors to see life of the inhabitants of Russian water zones such as the Sea of Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk, the Bering Sea, Lake Baikal, the Amur River and Lake Khanka; as well as the inhabitants of polar cold seas, warm tropic seas and rivers and open ocean territories.
The life support and water adjustment systems will take significant space in the building. Up-to date technologies will allow nearly 30 different water parameters to be controlled, which is necessary for the well being of marine animals. There will be a group of additional units for maintaining the live exhibits, such as technical and hydrochemical units, a veterinary unit, health and disease control, water conditioning, kitchen and other units in the exhibits area; there will also be a diving department for tank cleaning and providing technical support during the scientific experiments in the main tank and other large ones.
The dolphinarium will also be located in the exhibit building. The water volume in the dolphinarium pools will be more than 10,000 cubic meters. Shows of bottle nosed dolphins, beluga whales, pilot whales, sea lions and fur seals can be watched by 800 viewers at the same time. The central pool for the dolphinarium shows has a space of 800 square meters and a depth about 10 meters. The zones of above and under water observation will allow for maximum enjoyment of the shows. The pool system will create perfect conditions for husbandry and training of marine mammals. The conditions for feeding, examination and transportation of marine mammals will also be provided, as well as a separate veterinary lab for the marine mammals.
There will be a dolphin therapy department in the Dolphinarium, for which a separate pool is being built. Highly qualified experts will work in the dolphin therapy department after receiving special training.
In the research center, all scientific studies will be conducted, new exhibits will be composed and new inhabitants will spend quarantine time. The space of the research center is about 7,000 square meters. There will be more than 400 pools and aquariums in it, as well as a large freezer for keeping food.
The Primorsky Aquarium is a part of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences as a research institute. However, unlike most institutions of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Primorsky Aquarium will cover not only scientific tasks, but also educational and cultural ones. This is the first such facility, not only in the Russian Academy of Sciences, but in all of Russia as well. The Primorsky aquarium will have environmental educational programs, conduct the task of aesthetic education, help to form a new ideology of people’s attitude toward nature, take part in the preservation of rare and endangered species of marine and fresh water inhabitants and of course, demonstrate live exhibits for tourists.
The «Primorsky Aquarium» will employ a staff of 360 people, including the following specialists: biologists, veterinarians, trainers, educators, guides, engineers and technical staff, show managers, sound engineers, lighting technician etc.
Nevertheless, no aquarium can work without volunteers. A person will be considered a volunteer if he/she has worked at the aquarium without any payment at least once a year. Most of the volunteers are students, scholars and retirees. They will receive training and then take care of the animals. To support the work of the volunteers there will be different benefits for them in the aquarium, such as: the ability to take their friends or family members to the aquarium without charge, the ability to take diving classes for free or with a discount, and to swim in the pool with fish or marine mammals. This will be the approximate base for volunteer work in the aquarium.
The Primorsky Aquarium, without a doubt is going to be a unique facility. Beautiful exhibits, different interesting tours, educational programs for children and adults, shows with marine mammals, interactions with dolphins, comfortable leisure areas, beautiful territory with diverse landscape with parks and waterfalls, shops and cafes — all these will make the aquarium one of the favorite places of leisure and entertainment for residents and guests of Vladivostok.