Displays of Orkney Marine Life, Fishing and Sea Farming
The Orkney Marine-Life Aquarium exhibits marine life found in the waters of Orkney and the Scottish coast and provides a unique opportunity to see and understand some aspects of the marine environment, the strange creatures that inhabit our "Inner Space" and the utilisation of the sea by man in fishing and aquaculture.
A remarkable variety of sealife is on display; much of it gathered by fishermen working in Scapa Flow and Orkney coastal waters.
The strong tides and treacherous eddies of the Pentland Firth and around Orkney have protected many species of shellfish, particularly lobsters, allowing them to grow to an extraordinary size.
Enjoy a close up encounter with remarkable creatures!
Your Guide to the Aquarium
This Aquarium displays local marine life caught, mainly as a by-catch by fishermen in the waters around Orkney, while fishing for the commercial species that give them their livelihood.
This by-catch is normally utilised for bait purposes or thrown back into the sea where, because of extended swim bladders, the fish are prevented from swimming away from the surface and stand a good chance of being eaten by the many gulls that follow the fishing boats collecting this discarded catch.
Therefore, many of the animals you see would not have survived if Orkney fishermen had not taken the trouble to keep them for the aquarium.
As it is, holiday visitors, schools and local people have the opportunity to appreciate the diversity of sea life that are found around our shores and inspect them at close quarters - with staff providing additional information.
You may be aware of the different types of fish and shellfish that find their way onto the fishmongers slab but that is, of course, a very small proportion of the different species that live in the sea.
A large number of our animals are not commercial species so you may be unfamiliar with the range of colours and body shapes that can be found in our waters.