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Visitors return to Macduff aquarium

By Kyle Ritchie

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Macduff Marine Aquarium has welcomed back its first visitors after the easing of lockdown restrictions allowed it to reopen.

The popular visitor attraction opened its doors on Tuesday morning after a four-month closure.

However, work did not stop at the aquarium during that time with the team looking after the welfare of the animals and reaching a global audience with its weekly online shows.

New measures are in place at Macduff Marine Aquarium including the wearing of face masks. Staff welcomed back visitors on Tuesday.
New measures are in place at Macduff Marine Aquarium including the wearing of face masks. Staff welcomed back visitors on Tuesday.

Aquarium manager Claire Matthews said: "It is fantastic to be welcoming back visitors.

"Over the lockdown we were looking after the animals throughout the closure.

"As well as that we organised live streams, which included subjects like the aquarium's touch pools and shark dissection, which were hugely popular and had viewers from across the world including in South Africa, India, America and Canada.

"Schools also used the videos for their home-schooling programmes.

"We then got the go-ahead to reopen and work went into making sure the aquarium complied with Scottish Government guidance.

"We have social distancing measures in place, visitors should wear face masks and numbers within the building are limited.

"We are operating an online booking system, which will give visitors a specific time slot for their visit and prevent queues at the entrance.

"There will be no feed shows and talks at the moment, but an audio tour has been created."

The aquarium was fully booked for its first day back.

A new one-way system is in place to encourage visitors to keep a safe distance from others while exploring the aquarium. Rigorous cleaning and hygiene measures will be followed.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy two new developments at the aquarium supported by the Friends of Macduff Marine Aquarium. These include a new digital introduction to the Moray Firth and a themed exhibit about the deep sea, focussing on the deep Southern Trench of the Moray Firth and rounding off the aquarium’s habitat trail.

The aquarium is open daily from 10am to 5pm Mondays to Fridays and 11am to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Last admissions will be at 4pm.

Visitors can pre-book by visiting either www.macduff-aquarium.org.uk or www.livelifeaberdeenshire.org.uk

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