An Aquarium Survey in China Tour d’horizon des Aquariums en Chine



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An Aquarium Survey in China




Tour d’horizon des Aquariums en Chine


X. Zhang1, S. Wang2, W. Wang3, Y. Shen4, G. Chin5, J. Zee6


1 Institute of Hydrobiology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, 430072, China

2 Qingdao Aquarium, Qingdao, 266003, China

3 Dalian Sun Asia Ocean World, Dalian, 116023, China

4 Red Coral Aquatic Technology Development Co. Ltd., Shanghai, 200436, China

5 Multi Plan Enterprise Pte. Ltd., 10 Anson Rd., #10-06 International Plaza, 079903, Singapore

6 Active Environments, Inc., Lompoc, CA 93436 USA

Abstract
This survey investigate the current situation and latest developments of the public aquariums in China. The aquariums are subjectively classed into three types: 1) Large-sized, modern and technologically advanced aquariums, which maintain and display a variety of fishes, invertebrates, plants, algae, birds, reptiles, and marine mammals. Many have large underwater viewing windows and underwater tunnels. Many of these facilities also operate large complicated life support systems according to international standards; 2) Small to medium-sized, traditional-type aquariums, displaying fish, some invertebrates, and possibly some plants and algae, in glass tanks in a simple walk through a gallery. These facilities operate medium to small basic filtration systems; 3) Small aquariums with small glass tanks, usually without filtration system. This survey also show the advances made in the public aquarium industry and aquarium management. The survey will also show some of problems and include recommendations for future research, education and conservation opportunities in the public aquariums of China.
Résumé
Ce panorama présente une analyse de la situation et des derniers développements des Aquariums publics en Chine. Ces établissements peuvent être classés en trois catégories: 1) Les Aquariums de grandes tailles, modernes et avancés sur le plan technologique, qui maintiennent et présentent une grande variété de poissons, invertébrés, plantes, algues, oiseaux, reptiles et mammifères marins. Beaucoup ont de grandes vitres pour la vision et des tunnels sous-marins. Un grand nombre de ces Aquariums fonctionnent avec d’imposants systèmes de maintenance conçus selon les standards internationaux; 2) Les Aquariums de petites et moyennes tailles, traditionnels, avec quelques invertébrés et parfois quelques plantes et algues, dans des aquariums en verre disposés dans une galerie d’exposition classique. Ces structures fonctionnent avec des systèmes de filtrations simples de petites et moyennes tailles; 3) Les petits Aquariums avec de petites cuves en verre, souvent sans aucun système de filtration.

Ce panorama montre les progrès réalisés par l’industrie des Aquariums publics dans le domaine de la conception architecturale et de la construction, des nouveaux matériaux employés, de l’origine et de la collecte des stocks, et de la gestion. Quelques-uns des problèmes rencontrés sont aussi abordés, tel les disparités de développement dans les domaines du divertissement, de la conservation, de la recherche, et de l’éducation du public. Cette présentation inclut des recommandations pour des recherches futures, pour l’éducation et les actions de conservation dans les Aquariums publics de Chine.


Introduction

It has been 68 years since Qingdao Aquarium, the first public aquarium in China, opened in 1932. For several reasons, there was a long silent period of a few decades in the development of aquariums in China between 1932 and the late 1970s, when no new public aquariums opened. In 1978, the new Beihai Aquarium opened in the Guangxi area in southwest China, and an Aquatic Museum also opened in the Beijing Agricultural Exhibition Hall. Before long, in 1980, Baiji Dolphinarium opened in the Institute of Hydrobiology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan, in the central area of China. A rapid development appeared in the 1990s after another decade of ‘dormancy’.

Here we show the latest data and status on the development of aquariums in China since 1990 through an overall survey across China.


Method

The survey was conducted from August through October 2000. All the aquariums surveyed were selected by China Aquarium Association (CAA) and divided into two types. The Type-One aquariums intensively investigated by authors included eight aquariums, such as Qingdao Aquarium, etc. The Type-Two aquariums, investigated through a specially designed questionnaire, included another twenty aquariums, such as Shanghai Changfeng Ocean World, etc. All available data were collected from the surveyed aquariums, including brochures, annual reports, tickets, maps, photos, posters, etc.




Results

Some 40 new public aquariums opened from 1992 through 2000. The aquariums are subjectively classed into three types. 1) Large sized, modern and technologically advanced aquariums, which maintain and display a variety of fish (local and exotic species), invertebrates, plants, algae, birds, reptiles, and marine mammals. Many have large underwater viewing windows and underwater tunnels. Many of these facilities also operate large and complicated life support systems according to international standards. 2) Small to medium-sized, traditional type aquariums, displaying fish (mostly local and some exotic species), some invertebrates, and possibly some plants and algae, in glass tanks in a simple walk through a gallery. These facilities operate medium to small basic filtration systems. 3) Small aquariums with small glass tanks, usually without effective filtration system. The change of aquarium numbers in China from 1932 to 2000 is shown in Figure 1.







Current status of aquariums in China



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