Seaquarium to close in November

  • 3 October, 2022
  • On the pier


The seaquarium
at Clacton Pier is to close permanently next month and will be replaced with a
new venture.

The attraction,
which has been open for around 40 years, is home to about 900 individual fish
and sea life.

It received a
glowing report from a DEFRA vet following its last inspection before its
licence was renewed and that licence is up for renewal again next Easter.

Bosses at the
pier were faced with a difficult decision of whether to move the seaquarium and
make it larger to help meet new higher standards being brought in – or shut the
doors for good.

Director Billy
Ball said it would have meant significant extra investment.

“If it was to
remain, we would have also wanted to look to come up with more conservation
activities and that was simply not viable,” he added.

“There has
been some form of wildlife on the pier since the 1930s and it has been part of
the offering since then. There were whales, dolphins, sea lions and penguins at
one time and these were seen as entertainment.

“We are now in
a very different world with emphasis on protecting the environment quite
rightly gaining greater priority.

“All things
considered – including overheads and the rising cost of energy – we decided it
was time to close that chapter in the pier’s history and move forward.”

The seaquarium
has smooth hound sharks, red-bellied piranha, clown fish, terrapins, turtles
and many species of fish.

Work is
already underway to find them all new homes and discussions are taking place
with the attraction’s vet to ensure that task is carried out with all the
necessary procedures.

The pier has
notified Tendring District Council that it will be surrendering its licence
which involved meeting the same rules and regulations as zoos such as

Mr Ball said
that this will be the last month that visitors will have the chance to enjoy
the seaquarium and he hopes they will make the most of the opportunity.

are taking place into finding a replacement attraction in the space that will
be vacated.

“We have
exciting concepts in the pipeline, and we will be making an announcement later
in the year,” he added.


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