Southsea’s Blue Reef gets the claws out for weekend event

(Back, l-r) Nurses Linda Page and Laura Cleverley and doctors Becca Allan and Anne Hounsell, with (front, l-r) chaplain Carol Gully, doctor Katie Jerram and nurse Mellissa Bell             Picture: Vernon Nash

Doctor Katie and colleagues brave the waves to raise money for Rowans Hospice

  • Crustaceans on show as part of special event
  • Children had chance to touch crabs, lobsters and shrimps
  • Blue Reef staff educated visitors on marine life
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YOUNGSTERS and adults alike have been given a fascinating insight into the world of crustaceans.

The Blue Reef Aquarium in Southsea held a special event over the weekend to educate children on some of the marine world’s most incredible creatures from cleaner shrimps and hermit crabs to giant lobsters.

Rob Davidson and Ben Edwards look at a spider crab

Rob Davidson and Ben Edwards look at a spider crab

They held talks and people asked questions as well as taking part in activities related to crustaceans.

Kim Simmons brought along her three-year-old daughter Charlotte, and cousin Bethany Bowles, four.

Kim, 34, from Portchester, said: ‘This is a good thing to do when it’s raining. It’s important for them to learn about this, especially with them being near the water.

‘They have enjoyed themselves - but they get a bit scared of the big fish.’

A lot of the creatures that you see here are things you will find around Portsmouth and around the UK in general

Rob Davidson, Blue Reef

Karen Williams, 42, took her sons Alex, nine, and Charlie, six to the aquarium.

Karen, 42, from Long Sutton in Hampshire, said: ‘The boys love aquariums and we thought they would be amused. They loved it. It’s really fascinating.

‘The staff have been so engaging with the children and really enthusiastic, letting them touch things.

‘So often children are told not to touch anything. They have absolutely loved it.’

Rob Davidson is an aquarist at Blue Reef. He said: ‘We have got lots of things that don’t like to swim around, things that like to scuttle and pinch and climb.

‘We’ve got all of our different crustaceans that we’ve had over the years.

‘A lot of the creatures that you see here are things you will find around Portsmouth and around the UK in general.

‘This is looking at the nature that is on their doorstep.

‘There are more of these creatures out in the water a few metres away than there are in the aquarium.

‘It’s fantastic to be able to show them to kids and get them engaged and show them the various body parts and how they all work and show them how they are similar to us and how they are different as well. I think it’s really important.’

Andy and Larysa Moore had brought their children to the aquarium whilst on a family holiday in Portsmouth.

Larysa, 41, said: ‘This will help with their education later as they can remember some facts. It’s good for adults as well. I learnt a lot.’