Our Evening with Friends for Sharks event at SEA LIFE Aquarium in Melbourne was a highlight of our time in Australia. Before our talk we had a chance to explore the aquarium exhibits and spent plenty of time admiring the sharks and rays in the shark tank and tunnel. It is the best shark display I have seen in an aquarium to date and the staff there were very knowledgeable about the animals on display. The variety of ray species made it especially interesting for us and also the three Speartooth sharks. This species is endangered and the three on display are the only collection of these sharks in an aquarium anywhere in the world.


The aquarium is in the city centre and is very well laid out for a city aquarium with limited space. The sea horse and leafy sea dragon displays were beautiful, with a strong focus on SEALIFE’s efforts to conserve these species, and I really enjoyed admiring the variety of seahorses on display. There is also an interactive room where children (and creative adults!) can draw their own shark, jellyfish or fish and the drawing is scanned and projected onto the wall where it ‘comes to life’ and swims across the screen.


By far my favourite though was Pinjarra the saltwater crocodile. This crocodile had been rescued from a crocodile farm where he was too large and dominant to be kept with the other crocodiles. He was going to be put down but the aquarium heard of his plight and rescued him. I have never seen a saltwater crocodile before and he took my breath away. He is a large crocodile and his markings were stunning. It is experiences such as meeting Pinjarra that I hope will encourage the general public to realise how important the conservation of wildlife is.