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New £500,000 look for shark tank at Great Yarmouth Sealife Centre

PUBLISHED: 11:41 01 January 2015 | UPDATED: 11:41 01 January 2015

An artist's impression of the new look ocean tank at Great Yarmouth's Sealife Centre.

An artist's impression of the new look ocean tank at Great Yarmouth's Sealife Centre.

Archant

Visitors will be able to get up close and personal to some finned friends when Great Yarmouth Sealife Centre reveals its revamped centrepiece attraction.

A black tip shark that will live in the new look ocean tank at Great Yarmouth's Sealife Centre.A black tip shark that will live in the new look ocean tank at Great Yarmouth's Sealife Centre.

The 250,000 litre ocean tank has been drained to create a coral-themed environment, with relics from a sunken city, to house a huge selection of tropical sharks.

And when it opens at Easter visitors will be able to do far more than just watch the sharks, as a series of new features are being fitted to the tank that will let land dwellers interact with them and the other underwater residents.

A push-button control in the ocean tunnel will trigger a stream of bubbles from the mouth of a giant Medusa head, and activate lights in her eyes. Medusa will also provide a commentary on the marine life surrounding her.

Hi-tech sensors in the tank will be linked to a display panel on which visitors can monitor the water chemistry and learn about the delicate balance required for a healthy marine environment.

A zebra shark, that will live in the new look ocean tank at Great Yarmouth's Sealife Centre.A zebra shark, that will live in the new look ocean tank at Great Yarmouth's Sealife Centre.

And a huge dome window is being transformed into a simulation of a deep sea submersible, enabling visitors to take the controls and manoeuvre a real in-tank camera to spy on a pair of bowmouth sharks, black-tipped sharks and others up close.

Senior aquarist Darren Gook said: “It’s all part of our mission to improve the image of the world’s most misunderstood and unfairly maligned predator and boost support for shark conservation efforts.”

The £500,000 make over of the ocean tank has been ongoing for several weeks and has been leant a splash of colour by a TV artist.

Darren Norris, who works in the costume department for fantasy TV series Game of Thrones, was among a team of specialists that created the new underwater world inside the tanks, crafting a colourful coral reef and lifesize diver.

When it opens the tank will be home to bowmouth, black-tipped and zebra sharks, as well as tropical rays, hundreds of colourful smaller fish and the centre’s resident giant green sea turtle, Noah.

■ Do you have a Great Yarmouth story? Email lucy.clapham@archant.co.uk

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