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Staff at two aquariums on the South Coast are carrying out a big stock-take this month.
The annual stock-take at Portsmouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium takes place from Saturday January 8th to Sunday
Blue Reef’s Jenna MacFarlane said:
“January has traditionally always been the time of year when we do an official check on all our stock numbers.
“Obviously some creatures will be rather easier to count than others; the sharks are usually fairly straightforward, although there are a number of species that like to spend much of their time either hidden among the rocks or under the sand.
“Tree frogs can be a little tricky as they’re very well camouflaged and anemones are always something of a guesstimate as they reproduce by dividing so one can quickly become two!”
Meanwhile it's a similar story at the Oceanarium Bournemouth where the Aquatics department will be busy throughout January conducting a comprehensive annual stock-take and head-count of every fish and reptile.
With over 2,000 creatures calling the Oceanarium home, from endangered Green Sea Turtles, Friday and Crusoe, to the several hundred Malawi Cichlids, the displays team are using records kept of every birth, death, new arrival and departure during 2010 to help with the count.
The necessary data that the Oceanarium collects is delivered to the local authority, which issues zoo licenses.
Oliver Buttling, Group Curator of the Oceanarium, Bournemouth, said:
“Some creatures at the Oceanarium are a lot easier to keep a record of than others. For example, we know we only have one North Pacific giant octopus named Harriet and one green iguana called Ziggy. However, when it comes to counting over 500 tiny Barbs in our Ganges display, this proves to be significantly more difficult!
“The annual New Year stock-take is a huge task, but with data records we regularly keep, I’m confident this year’s head-count will be completed in no time at all.”