Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Give Our Seal of Approval; BEHIND THE SCENES AS AQUARIUM'S SEAL TANKS ARE CLEANED

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Give Our Seal of Approval; BEHIND THE SCENES AS AQUARIUM'S SEAL TANKS ARE CLEANED

Article excerpt

Byline: KELSIE CAMPBELL Reporter ec.news@ncjmedia.com

YOU know what it's like - it's that time of year for the spring clean, but you just can't be bothered...

So, what better idea than to call in the professionals? This team of modern-day Mrs Mopps have moved in to spring-clean one of the region's favourite attractions.

Tynemouth's Blue Reef Aquarium is known for its spectacular tanks packed with sealife.

But how on Earth do those tanks stay crystal clear? Drainage and civil engineering company Aqua Jet have gone from cleaning away graffiti on the streets to jumping into a tank with seals for the job , which takes place every six months.

While the workers get scrubbing, the seals watch on, happy to share their homes with their new found friends.

Terry Mckeone, display supervisor at The Blue Reef Aquarium, said: "Seals live on land anyway so they're quite comfortable just lying on the bottom while we pressure wash around them.

"We have to shift them on a little bit as they like to get in your way as much as they possibly can and then we fill it back up, clean for the public again.

Seals anyway "I think the seals actually prefer when it's got the algae in there."

quite just lying bottom pressure around Terry " The job was taken up by Aqua Jet as an essential part of the up keeping of the seals for the aquarium.

Callum Oliver, operations manager for Aqua Jet, said: "We use high pressure water to clean the walls back to usual colour and stop the algae build-up otherwise you won't be able to see in from the viewing windows. I'm assuming it's for the health of the seals as well so they have a clean environment to live in and a fresh water supply."

The aquarium remains open during cleaning season but no shows are available due to the need for water throughout their performance.

Terry said: "We still do a talk and feed session where we get in the pool and from the windows at the front you can still see them, they'll do a couple of things, they'll wave and roll over and that's about it but we still get people in and still talk to them about seals."

" The aquarium staff have also been working closely with endangered seals that have been washed up on local beaches and have recently rescued aon land so they're comfortable on the while we wash them Mckeone grey seal from Longsands beach which is expected to be released back in the wild in the upcoming months.

OLD COMRADES TOMORROW 12.15pm, Tyneside Branch, Royal Artillery Assn, RBL Central branch Headquarters, Jesmond Ave, Jesmond.

7.30pm, Royal Marines Assn, Tyneside Branch, Royal Marines Reserve Unit, Anzio House, Quayside.

WEDNESDAY 8pm, R Naval Assn, Tyne Branch, Companions Club, Leazes Park Rd, Newcastle.

7pm, Blyth & Wansbeck Branch, Submariners Association, High Street Social Club, High Street, Blyth. …

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