Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Fort Victoria Marine Aquarium stock moves to Portsmouth

Lobster Image copyright Fort Victoria Marine Aquarium
Image caption The aquarium's collection of native species, sharks, crustaceans and tropical fish are to be moved to Portsmouth

Fish and crustaceans from an Isle of Wight aquarium which is to close are to be re-homed at a Portsmouth marine attraction.

Fort Victoria Marine Aquarium announced it would close after 31 years in business earlier this month.

Its collection of native species, sharks, crustaceans and tropical fish are to be moved to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth.

Owner Paul Blake said it was a "great relief".

The aquarium, built into arches in a Victorian military fort at Yarmouth, blamed rising costs and zoo licensing regulation for its decision to close.

It also said it was unable to increase the size of its premises and faced stiff competition from large aquariums on the mainland, with no compensating increase in visitor numbers.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The aquarium was one of the attractions at the Isle of Wight Council-owned Fort Victoria complex

Native marine life including lobsters, crabs, rays and sharks, as well as tropical trigger fish, puffer fish and clownfish were displayed at the attraction.

Blue Reef Aquarium's Lindsay Holloway said it would incorporate the entire stock into its Southsea tanks after a period in quarantine.

"It's very sad that such a long-established aquarium has been forced to close and we have every sympathy with the owners who have worked so hard to keep it open."

Mr Blake said: "Blue Reef was our first choice when looking for a new home for our charges, we are extremely grateful that they have agreed to take them all, it is a huge relief to know they could not have gone to a better home."

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