We run the UK’s largest aquarium, the National Marine Aquarium (NMA). The NMA tells the story of the Ocean through a journey around the world, building emotional connections to the Ocean with all who visit.
There has been an aquarium in Plymouth since 1888, originally housed at the Marine Biological Association, and then reimagined on the waterfront in the historic Barbican district of Plymouth. The Ocean Conservation Trust opened the NMA in 1998, and since then we have connected more than 2,900,000 people with the Ocean through face-to-face interactions and educated over 350,000 children school pupils about our Ocean. Our dedicated husbandry team curates global Ocean habitats, working with international experts to advance the care and conservation of marine life. We also act as the face for amazing Ocean science research and have in fact conducted our own research programme supporting hundreds of student research projects and PhDs.
The importance of having an aquarium cannot be overstated in an era defined by humanity’s impact on the natural world and where natural spaces are becoming less familiar in our daily lives. The NMA is an accessible and inclusive location where everyone can go to learn about and connect with the Ocean. It showcases habitats and real animals that people wouldn’t usually have a chance to see, encouraging empathy and a desire to act positively for the Ocean. The Ocean Conservation Trust is proud to host a larger number of native species at the NMA than any other UK aquarium.
The Ocean Conservation Trust is pleased to be a member of BIAZA – the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums. BIAZA shares our view that aquariums hold a vital place in society to pass on important Ocean conservation messages and encourage us all to value the Ocean.
The future for the Aquarium is exciting, with new virtual reality experiences, experiential exhibits and further progress to come in our animal research and breeding programmes.
To visit the National Marine Aquarium, click here.