Environment /ecology

POLICY OF THE AQUARIUM

Since its creation, the Aquarium of Limousin has been highly committed to the protection of  the aquatic flora and fauna. Before becoming a place of interest, the site housed an animal shelter for all the fishes and turtles abandoned by their owners. In order to finance the needs of these animals, the shelter became a public aquarium in 1993.

Nowadays, the Aquarium fulfils more than ever its functions of animal shelter ; it takes in an average of 5 fishes and 1 turtle per week. It has been noted that these numbers increase during the summer.

The Aquarium upholds a strict policy regarding the population of its fish tanks. We are keen on working with companies able to supply us with animals bred in captivity or coming from sensible fishing in order to put off excessive fishing.

COMMITMENT

The Aquarium of Limousin contacted the Paul Ricard Oceanographic Institute, a partner with which the biologists got involved to contribute to the preservation of seahorses. The seahorses are indeed on the list of endangered species. Why ? Their natural environment keeps on deteriorating especially because of water pollution. These animals are also victims of excessive capture for commercial purposes, and are regularly trapped in fishing nets.

The study group of the seahorse and the Paul Ricard Oceanographic Institute continue their work on the preservation of seahorses. Their study focuses on 2 species : the long-snout seahorse and the short-snouted seahorse. Their first success concerning the long-snout seahorse : 100 young bred in the Paul Ricard Oceanographic Institute were released in November 2011 in their pond of origin.

200 young raised in the same place rejoined nine public aquariums, including the Aquarium of Limousin, where all the team members wish, with all their hearts attend many births.

WATER POLLUTION

The waste encountered at sea is called « macro-waste ».

It is generated by human activity. This waste is visible on the surface but can also be found underwater. It is carried by currents and rivers to the coastlines where it settles on the beaches.

It is principally made up from packaging (plastic bags, bottles), as well as fishing equipment, glass objects (bottles,flasks), metal objects (soda cans…), fabric, leather or rubber objects.

One of the largest waste heaps we know of is located in the Pacific ocean ; it alone represents the surface of France and Spain put together.

Waste found on the coastlines hasn’t all been abandoned on site. Some come from far away, brought by waterways or the wind.

Various sources :

Left on the coastlines by tourists.

Throwing out in harbours.

Unauthorized dumping.

Domestic, farming and industrial activities.

Seaborne trade.

Fishing (nets, lines…)

Waste from natural sources.

Many consequences :

Birds’ beaks get caught in the plastic wrappings surrounding soda cans.

Turtles, whales or cachalots die smothered by plastic bags which they mistake for jellyfish. A cachalot was found with more than 50 plastic bags in its throat.

Marine animals get wounded or die crossing the waste heaps.

Seals and sea lions choke on fishing nets.

Abandoned fishing equipment is also responsible for the deterioration of coral reefs. The nets and ropes get caught in the reefs and break them.

As time goes by, the plastic decomposes in tiny pieces which can reach sizes invisible to the naked eye. Scientific studies have shown that this micro waste blocks the digestive and respiratory systems of some marine organisms.