Galway Atlantaquaria joins European Association of Zoos and Aquaria ahead of Brexit

Galway daily news Galway Aquarium leading effort to foster an 'Ocean Literate' generation

Galway Atlantaquaria has been awarded full membership of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria to ensure the best standards of animal conservation.

This will allow the Atlantaquaria full access to breeding programmes, collaboration on zoological research projects with other zoos, aquaria, and universities, and guarantee free transport of animals within the EU.

The Atlantaquaria is already a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria, but it became essential to become a part of the EAZA in order to keep working with other European zoos and aquariums after the UK leaves the EU.

But Mathew Hawkins, Manager of the Atlantaquaria said this hasn’t just been a panicked reaction to Brexit, “This award has taken many years of work from our volunteers, staff and education team.

“We are looking forward to continuing develop our Aquarium community, breeding, conservation and education programmes to meet the highest quality and standards expected of a professional Aquarium.”

The EAZA is the largest professional association of zoos and aquariums in the world.

It was founded in 1992 to promote collaboration on the continent in the areas of conservation, education, and research.

Cooperation on breeding programmes between different institutes has begun in a less formal sense seven years earlier in 1985.

After those seven years zoo and aquarium directors felt there was more that could be achieved by working together in different areas of research and education.

David-Williams Mitchell, EAZA Director of Communications and Membership, welcomed the Atlantaquaria: “EAZA is thrilled to welcome Galway Atlantaquaria as a new Member of our community.”

“We look forward to working closely with them on species conservation, public education and scientific research over the long term.  It’s a great institution, and one we are proud to represent.”

Some of the specific goals of the EAZA for zoos and aqauria are to contribute funding manpower to conservation projects aimed at protecting animal populations and their habitats.

Maintaining viable animal populations within human care to ensure their long term survival.

Educating visitors about animals and their habitats and providing them with the knowledge and opportunities they need to live sustainably as part of nature.

And to research all aspects of animal biology to improve our understanding of animals and how they live and interact.

The Galway Atlantaquaria is Ireland’s largest aquarium with nearly 100 species of fish and other sea life to be found there.