A BIG splash was made as Macduff Marine Aquarium celebrated its 20th anniversary and the recent makeover of the kelp reef tank.
A family-fun oriented weekend celebration saw almost 1000 visitors to the famous North-East tourist attraction on October 28 and 29.
They participated in hands-on art activities, an underwater wildlife photography exhibition, fishy prize draws and live reptile and bug handling.
Special guest BBC wildlife cameraman and presenter Gordon Buchanan captivated adults and children alike with his tales of adventures as a wildlife film maker. He enjoyed his visit to the aquarium so much he said he plans to return at a future date.
Provost of Aberdeenshire Bill Howatson and Cllr Peter Argyle, Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee chair, cut the celebratory birthday cake as well as making a few short speeches.
Provost Howatson said: "It was a privilege to be a part of this fantastic celebration. It was lovely to see so many families enjoying the festivities at this beloved tourist attraction and learning about marine life through the display boards, interactive games and events.
"I understand from the aquarium manager that the fishy print pictures and handmade jellyfish proved popular with children, and although many were taken home, at least a dozen were left proudly displayed for all to see. They perfectly accompanied the amazing fish sculpture that Carn Standing created from plastic cutlery. I am delighted to learn it will now be hung, along with the jellyfish, to create an art installation in the aquarium as a feature to raise awareness about marine litter.
"The council sees this popular visitor destination as a major driver for tourism to the North East and the investment of half a million pounds demonstrates this commitment."
Cllr Argyle said: "Macduff Marine Aquarium is now reopen for business and looks better than ever. I would like to thank everyone involved as well as the public for their patience while the work took place. In recognition of the tourist attraction’s importance to Macduff, we have asked the local community and visitors past and present to share their memories of the aquarium over the last 20 years. These have made up a story board which has gone on display. I would encourage people to visit the aquarium so they can see this fantastic illustration of people’s memories and how this popular tourist attraction has developed over the years.
"As part of the refurbishment, the aquarium received sponsorship to reduce its energy usage from TAQA and I would like to thank them for their support in providing the new LED display lighting and climate change information board."