Sea Life counted all their creatures (Pictures: PA)
For many, the New Year is all about taking stock and getting organised for the year ahead – and the creatures at Sea Life London are no different.
Aquarium staff have embarked on their annual mammoth task of counting all of their 6,000 plus sea creatures in their ‘count and clean’ project to kick off the year.
Sea Life London Aquarium’s team of expert aquarists totted up all 6,100 of its inhabitants from penguins to piranhas, sharks and sea turtles.
The yearly spruce includes a deep-clean of the animals’ living spaces ready for the new year.
It’s also an opportunity for staff to strengthen bonds with their underwater colleagues and spot any new arrivals.
During the count, there were some 133 piranhas found to be living it up in the capital, as well as 41 pacu fish.
The pacu is an omnivorous South American freshwater serrasalmid fish, related to the piranha.
Sea Life London’s biggest pacu came in at 1.2 metres long – or 3.9 feet – around the same height as a six-year-old.
The average ray weighed in between three and five kilos, and the average clownfish – the same species as Nemo – measured around 10cm.
We don’t know about you, but we’d rather not be the cleaning that tank.
Sea Life London Aquarium’s penguins (Picture: PA/James Manning)
There were 271 of the orange and white creatures found to be living in the aquarium’s Coral Kingdom.
And while the count seems like incredibly wholesome it’s also very important work.
Staff use the information they gather during the project to assess the health of inhabitants and keep an eye on any developments, which are then reported back to the international breeding programmes Sea Life takes part in.
This includes the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) as well as the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ studbook programmes, which aim to conserve the healthy population of animals.
Getting clean and organised for the new year (Credits: PA/James Manning)
Catherine Pritchard, general manager at Sea Life London Aquarium, said: ‘Our annual count and clean is one of our favourite times of year at Sea Life London Aquarium.
‘It’s a fun way for the team to collect all the information we need to assess the overall health of our creatures, as well as making sure their homes are spic and span ready for the year ahead.
Aquarists measuring their fish (Picture: PA/ James Manning)
‘While our aquarists have lots of fun during the count and clean, it’s also a task that we take very seriously as it’s a vital exercise that helps us maintain the health and well-being of our creatures both now and for future generations to come.’