Link between science and public
The aquarium attached to Helgolands’ Biological research station (Biologischen Anstalt Helgoland- BAH) operates as a research, teaching and display aquarium, offering visitors an exciting insight into the underwater world of the North Sea. Numerous animals and plants can be found in nineteen large display tanks, all of which mimic the organisms’ natural habitat, thus, giving a fascinating insight into the diversity of forms and behaviour. A special attraction is the arena tank with rays, sharks and one of the last north-sea sturgeons. The rare blue Helgoland lobster can also be seen in the “Helgoland display tank”, which contains over 11, 000 litres of seawater. Furthermore immigrants from warmer regions can also be observed, such as striped red mullets or european seabass.
The aquarium's greatest asset is that it closely mimics natural conditions. The aquarium operates a 'flow-through' system, whereby tanks are continuously filled with fresh North Sea water, through an elaborate pump and filter system. In this way any build-up of metabolic waste materials that may cause pollution in the tanks can be avoided, and the water quality therefore remains close to that of the surrounding North Sea. This is also true for temperature and salinity, which follow the normal cycles seen in the North Sea. As almost no pre-filtration of the raw water takes place it is not uncommon to see invetebrates and plants, whose larvae have settled in the tanks, growing on the tank walls.
Many scientists from all around the world, and also those involved in International research projects are able to profit from the aquarium as a natural experimental set-up. They are also able to gain from the many years of experience in the keeping and breeding of the organisms that has been acquired over a very long period of time. Another service that the aquarium helps provide is a specimen supply service, where scientists are able to order animals and plants to be shipped directly to them. In addition to the internal researchers in the institute, many other research institutes, universities and aquariums are also supplied with North Sea Organisms.
Groups of students, schoolchildren and visitors can learn many fascinating facts about the biology of North Sea organisms and their ecology. The most surprising fact for most visitors is the sheer diversity (number of different species) and beauty of North Sea life. Through its aquaria and displays the aquarium is an important link between science and public, raising awareness about the need to protect our marine environments as an area of natural beauty and source of human nutrition.
Guided tours with a glimpse behind the scenes of the Aquarium
1 April – 31 October
Queries: phone +49 (0) 4725-819-3217 (ticket office) or staff -3229
Ticket prices per tour:
Adults 5.00 €
Children 3.00 €
reare entrance of the aquarium
minimum eight up to maximum 20 persons
You can buy tickets for the guided tours at the ticket office of the aquarium.
Special tours should be anounced at least one week prior to the booking date.
April to October
Monday to Tuesday 9:30 to 16:30
Thursday to Sunday 9:30 to 16:30
The aquarium is closed on Wednesday
November to March
Visits on request.
Adults: 4.00 €
Children: 2.00 € (16 and younger)
Pupils' groups: 1.50 € (per person)
Adult groups 2.00 € (min 10 persons, fee per person)