Sea Life London Aquarium
The London Sea Life Aquarium
51°30′7″N 0°7′8″W / 51.50194°N 0.11889°W / 51.50194; -0.11889
Date openedMarch 1997 (22 years and 9 months ago) [1]
LocationLondon, England
No. of species~500[2]
Total volume of tanksMore than 2,000,000 litres (440,000 imp gal; 530,000 US gal)[2]
Annual visitors1,000,000[1]
Public transit accessLondon Underground National Rail Waterloo
London Underground Westminster

The Sea Life London Aquarium is located on the ground floor of County Hall on the South Bank of the River Thames in central London, near the London Eye. It opened in March 1997 as the London Aquarium and hosts about one million visitors each year.


In 2005, the aquarium displayed three robotic Fish created by the computer science department at the University of Essex. The fish were designed to be autonomous, swimming around and avoiding obstacles like real fish. Their creator claimed that he was trying to combine "the speed of tuna, acceleration of a pike, and the navigating skills of an eel."[4][5]

In April 2008, the aquarium was purchased by Merlin Entertainments for an undisclosed sum.[6] The facility was closed for a £5 million refurbishment, which was completed in April 2009. The additions included a new underwater tunnel, Shark Walk, a revamped Pacific Ocean tank, and a complete rerouting of the exhibit, all of which were carried out under the supervision of architect Kay Elliott.[7] The attraction officially became a Sea Life Centre when it reopened in April 2009.[8]

In May 2011, the aquarium opened a new penguin exhibit, with 10 gentoo penguins transferred from the Edinburgh Zoo. In 2015, the aquarium was moved to a different location in County Hall due to the opening of Shrek's Adventure, London.

Conservation and education

The aquarium includes two classrooms themed around the conservation campaigns which the zoo supports, which host up to 40,000 school children each year and are open to the public when not in use by the education program. It is involved in several breeding programs including the Cuban crocodile, seahorses, butterfly goodeids, and jellyfish, and works with many conservation organizations including Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Save Our Seas, and Shark Trust.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b "London Aquarium". UK London Travel. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Welcome to SeaLife London Aquarium". Merlin Entertainment Ltd. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  3. ^ "BIAZA Zoos and Aquariums". BIAZA. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  4. ^ "Robotic fish make aquarium debut". CNN. 10 October 2005. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  5. ^ "Robot fish swim their own way". Times of London. 7 October 2005. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  6. ^ Walsh, Dominic (3 May 2008). "Merlin Entertainments tops up list of London attractions with aquarium buy". Times of London. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  7. ^ "London Aquarium Refurbishment Complete". Kay Elliot. Retrieved 12 June 2011.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Buchanan, Rhoda (8 April 2009). "A fishy day out at the new London Aquarium". Times of London. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  9. ^ "Conservation successes". Merlin Entertainment Ltd. Retrieved 12 June 2011.

Media related to Sea Life London Aquarium at Wikimedia Commons