As part of Avanqua, a professional management team, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is delighted to have been selected by the City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia to manage Oceanografic, one of the world’s most impressive cultural institutions.
As a leading marine science centre, the Vancouver Aquarium was invited to join Avanqua to bring its professional expertise in animal care best practices, research, conservation programming, public engagement and educational outreach to elevate Oceanografic’s mission of conservation.
“Participation in the world-class management team of Avanqua enables Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre to engage an additional 1.3 million people a year with the issues facing the world’s oceans,” says Dr. John Nightingale, president and CEO of Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre. “This connection will further advance the Aquarium’s conservation, research and education mandate and we’re looking forward to sharing our best practices in animal care, success in marine mammal rescue, award-winning conservation programming and groundbreaking research at Oceanografic.”
Established in 2003, Oceanografic of the City of Arts and Sciences, is Europe’s largest aquarium. Oceanografic is made up of individual wings, each dedicated to a different ocean ecosystem to share the diversity of marine life from the Mediterranean and the Temperate and Tropical seas to the Arctic, Antarctic and Wetlands. Oceanografic has a Research Department with scientists specializing in the maintenance, biology and health of marine fauna. It works with the Regional Ministry for the Environment and more than 70 institutions, among which are Official Centres, Universities, NGOs, Research Laboratories and private enterprises to study and help conserve marine life.
After an extensive review worldwide, and a focused search across North America, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre was invited to collaborate as a partner with Omnium Iberico, a subsidiary of Aguas de Valencia, and KeT, in submitting a proposal for the professional management of Oceanografic in Valencia. The team felt that Vancouver’s marine science centre had the deep expertise in public engagement, best practices in animal care and focus on conservation and research that would help elevate Oceanografic to become an even better aquarium in Europe.
The next step will be to finalize a contract with the City of Arts and Sciences followed by a detailed inspection of the facilities, which includes a review of structures and systems, such as an evaluation of current animal life support systems. A parallel review of current animal care practices will be conducted to ensure alignment to Vancouver Aquarium’s commitment to exceptional care and education-based messaging. It is expected Avanqua will be in a position to assume management of Oceanografic in late spring of 2015.
This opportunity will enable Vancouver Aquarium to connect with an additional 1.3 million people, in addition to the one million visitors the Vancouver Aquarium receives annually, to its conservation efforts. Further, the Aquarium will be able to share its best practices in animal care, success in marine mammal rescue, award-winning conservation and education programs and groundbreaking research in Europe.
For now, our team will be brushing up on their español, and developing key relationships in Valencia. We are looking forward to the opportunity to share our conservation messaging with an even broader audience to connect more and more people to the issues facing our world’s oceans.