Japan has some great public aquariums. Unfortunately, the recent earthquake and tsunami have affected them in varying degrees. One of the aquariums close to this tragic event is the Aquamarine Fukushima.
It is an environmental aquarium. Their logo is a cute, green fish with interlocking hands of light blue and darker blue that symbolizes their basic concept, “Pondering through the Seas, the future of Humankind and the Earth”. The two shades of blue represent the meeting of the two ocean currents that exist there where the aquarium is built. These two ocean currents are the cold OYASHIO , Kurile Current and the warm KUROSHIO, Black Current that form the rip current offshore Onahama.
It is an aquarium and a marine science museum, thus the name “Aquamarine” comes from “Aquarium” and “Marine”. This is a unique type of public aquarium in which education is paramount. This incredible aquarium has its own educational system within the aquarium and its educational program also reaches out to the children in the community with environmental education that is fun and meaningful. The basis of their educational system is to present lessons on “The Oceans and What They Can Tell Us about Our Future”.
Sustainability is what the aquarium teaches. They show children and people of all ages the importance of a positive relationship between humankind and the oceans.
It is a science museum and botanical gardens; such a wonderful place with 1200 species of animals and plants which you can interact with in their delightful and beautiful environment. The aquarium has won aquarium association prizes for breeding the Pacific Saury and the Paradise Goby.
There is a touch pool where you can pick up and observe sea animals from the Fukushima shore. Kids of all ages delight in this amazing experience. Rice paddies, streams, and ponds have been recreated here and you can stroll through them and admire the wonders of the countryside as it was in olden days in Japan. Outside, visit the comical resident walrus who loves people and responds to visitors in a human-like way. He loves to interact with you as you get up close to him – nose to nose - separated only by the glass wall of his tank.
The sea lions will entertain you endlessly as they delight in their natural water and rock playground. The ducks paddle around at eye level in their sparkling pond that you can observe through the side of their tank and be a part of as they splash by you quaking as if laughing with you at all the fun everyone is having – animals and humans alike.
Unfortunately, this wonderful aquarium and center of environmental education took the full force of the tsunami when the 9.0 earthquake struck northern Japan. The touch pool was washed away. After the earthquake, the city electricity and water stopped and all their circulation systems in the aquarium stopped working. It was impossible to rescue fish, tuna, thousands of sardines, and Napoleon wrasse (an endangered fish, also known as the humphead wrasse) in the tanks.
See the letter below from Aquamarine Fukushima Executive Director, Yoshitaka Abe. Our hearts go out to the Japanese people. Please contact the Aquamarine Fukushima to ask how you can help. http://www.marine.fks.ed.jp/english/top_e.html