Moray eel and sand tiger sharks will be among the main attractions when Europe’s deepest aquarium tank opens in Plymouth, Devon on Saturday. Lifesize whales will also form part of the £4million development. The new Mediterranean Tank at the National Marine Aquarium (pictured) will home hundreds of species of fish and gives anglers the chance to see how fish behave and feed in their natural environment. Visitors walk through an acrylic tunnel to watch Mediterranean fish, including stingrays and scorpion fish that inhabit the 10.5 metre deep tank.
The marine life swims in 2.5million litres of water, pumped in from Plymouth Sound and is supported by a 160-tonne steel reinforcement.
Kelvin Boot, the head of education at the aquarium, said: “I think the public like a bit of danger and mystery, and that is part of the attraction with sharks. We treat our sharks with a huge amount of respect and caution. They are big and very powerful animals.”
The sharks – originally from Florida – swim alongside other fish in the tanks and are fed on mackerel, squid and other fish prepared for them by aquarium staff.
“The heads of the moray eels look fearsome and they have very sharp jaws,” Mr Boot added. “They are the stuff of horror movies like sharks are.”
A new coral reef visible to the public through a glass window will also form part of the development.