Get to know Atlanterhavsparken and those who live here
Atlanterhavsparken reaches out into the sea, a mere 3 km from the fishery capital of Ålesund.
The beautiful surroundings and the natural slopes of naked rock are parts of the environment both in the inside and outside areas.
Ten large landscape tanks give you the opportunity to study biotopes with different fish, algae and marine animals. In addition, a series of smaller tanks display special species and biotopes. The largest tanks show life at sea from different locations and different depths along the north-western coast of Norway.
A spectacular herring shoal swims contemporaneously between spiked dogfish and other large fish species. The anglerfish lie on the sandy bottom, in the midst of wrasse species like ballan wrasse and cuckoo wrasse. The conger eels wind and swim in the scree of a mystical, dark tank. Flatfish surrounded by mackerel and yearling fish among islets and skerries. Walk around the pool and observe lobster, crabs, sea anemones and sea urchins both from above and below.
The water filling the different aquariums gets pumped in straight from the sea, and is therefore natural sea water. As a result of this, the sight and the colour of the water are affected by the weather and the time of year. During summer, you will see that the algae thriving naturally in the tanks are more vigorous than during winter. We are doing our best to make your experience as authentic as possible, so that you can observe and learn about life at sea – the natural way.
The largest aquarium tank – Atlanterhavstanken – is one of the largest sea water tanks in Europe. Here you will find large cold-water fish originating from the area. Some species live in tight shoals, while other species stick together just temporarily while spawning or migrating. The aquarium tank is 36 metres long and 17 metres wide, containing 4 millions of litres of unfiltered sea water. You can experience the fascinating feeding show here – every day, all year round. The fish are then being hand-fed by the aquarium diver. The thickness of the acrylic glass is 26.5 cm and it weighs 30 tons. The water supply is situated approximately 800 metres outside of Tueneset at a depth of 45 metres.
Outdoors you will find the Sealbay, Europe’s largest seal construction. This is the home of seven seals from the Harbour seal species, well integrated in natural surroundings.
The penguin area, where the Humboldt penguins live, is also situated outside. The penguins are not a natural part of this area of the world, but the Humboldt penguin is one of the most endangered of today’s 17 penguin species on earth. The Humboldt penguin is listed in IUCN's (The World Conservation Union) red list of endangered animal species and is categorized as vulnerable (2005). Atlanterhavsparken is housing these penguins as part of the EEP, which is a European breeding programme for endangered species within EAZA (a European union for zoological gardens and aquariums). The breeding project has been a success. In 2014, Atlanterhavsparken exported 5 penguins to a zoo in France. The penguins have chicks almost annually. Every day, you can experience feeding of both the seals and the penguins. See activity programme.
In 2014, Atlanterhavsparken received the municipality of Ålesund’s Byggeskikkprisen (architectural prize) and Olav Høydals Minnepris (memorial prize) for its excellent building architecture and placing of outdoor areas in the existing surroundings. The architect’s name is Torstein Lervik.
In 2013 and 2015, Atlanterhavsparken was elected as the Best Aquarium in the Nordic countries by www.barnsemester.se
In 2016, Atlanterhavsparken received the county of Møre og Romsdal’s Tourism Prize.
We wish you an informative and inspiring stay at Atlanterhavsparken!