Native marine creatures celebrated at new Under the Ray-Dar exhibition at Sealife in Great Yarmouth
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Native marine species go under the ray-dar at a new exhibit celebrating conservation work.
After a £300,000 investment, Great Yarmouth's Sealife Centre has just opened a display which features sea creatures you can find in the shores off the British coast.
Curator at Sealife Great Yarmouth, Robert Gaster-Ward, said we have some amazing wildlife right on our doorstep.
He added: 'I want people to feel the same way they do about a cuddly panda as they do our own creates.'
He said there were some creatures in our waters which people do not realise we have, like sea horses and coral, which can be seen at the Under the Ray-Dar exhibition.
The centrepiece of the room is a yellow submarine which allows you to get up close to the marine animals.
Inside there are child-height bubbles you can put your head into to give you a close to the rays.
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The large room also features a mural of a basking shark to celebrate the occasional visitors to the east coast.
One thing that might seem out of place in the scene are the bases of wind turbines.
Mr Gaster-Ward explained the area around the turbines at Scroby Sands, about four miles of the coast of Yarmouth, have are an exclusion zone for fisherman and as a result fish have thrived in that area.
He said: 'We're trying to promote the windfarm. We all know it is good for the environment. But they have turned out to be an accidental conservation area.'
The explosion in the numbers of seals in colonies on a nearby sandbank could be a result of the growing fish stocks, Mr Gaster-Ward added.
There are more than 30 rays in what is the biggest display of its kind in a UK Sealife centre.
One feature which highlights native shark and ray species has been jointly sponsored by conservation charities the Sea Life Trust and the Shark Trust.
Under the Ray-Dar also employs audio-visual and touch technology to explore the habitat and its myriad of creatures, such as bearded rocklings and a tompot blenny.
General manager Terri Harris said: 'Under the Ray-Dar is one of the biggest new attractions we've unveiled for many years, and perhaps the most closely focused on conservation and looking after our marine environment.'