An annual stocktake of every animal in Skegness Aquarium’s tanks has been going swimmingly.
Staff at the aquarium have painstakingly spent the past two weeks logging creatures great and small to bring their records up to date.
More than 1,100 creatures are expected to live in the tanks, from sharks that are easy to count to cockroaches that tend to bury under the soil and are not so easy to see.
The count is a requirement of the Zoo Licensing Act and takes place at all venues holding live animals. Final figures will be submitted to the licensing department at East Lindsey District Council.
Stacy Adams, curator at the aquarium, said: “We’re expecting to find we have about 1,100 animals. There are 700 fish in the main tank but they swim around all the time so, as you can expect, it isn’t easy.
“Counting the sharks was probably the easiest but other creatures, such as cockroaches that bury themselves in the soil are really difficult.
There are 700 fish in the main tank but they swim around all the time so, as you can expect, it isn’t easyStacy Adams, Skegness Aquarium curator
“We also have sea stars and shrimps that help us with keeping the tanks clean by eating uneaten food and any fish that have died - everything is included.”
The count will also help the aquarium keep tabs on its new arrivals. At Christmas 70 seahorse babies were born and their survival is an important part of the aquarium’s breeding programme.
“We do try and keep tabs on our babies – it’s something we want to get better at,” said Stacy.
“People have been coming up to us and telling us how the sharks have grown too. You don’t always notice it when you are there every day.”
As well as the zoological team, every member of staff has been encouraged to get involved in the count. Stacy said: “Anyone who has a spare 10 minutes can pick up a sheet.
“One member of staff got so engrossed in what she was doing she didn’t realise we had all gone home.”