Shark deaths said to tank Jerusalem aquarium opening
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Shark deaths said to tank Jerusalem aquarium opening

Spokesman cites unspecified issues with fish, and lack of enough creatures, as new attraction stalls

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

The Jerusalem aquarium, which wasn't supposed to open until sometime in July 2017, has fish placeholders in many of the tanks, as other fish are adjusting to the their new habitat in the aquarium's quarantine area (Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)
The Jerusalem aquarium, which wasn't supposed to open until sometime in July 2017, has fish placeholders in many of the tanks, as other fish are adjusting to the their new habitat in the aquarium's quarantine area (Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

Jerusalem’s brand new aquarium, set to open this summer has been forced to remain closed, following the deaths of several exotic fish and two sharks, according to a Channel 10 report.

A Tourism Ministry spokesperson told The Times of Israel there is still no opening date as of yet, following what she said were some issues with the fish and as the aquarium awaits the arrival of more water creatures.

The spokesperson said she was told the aquarium can’t open until it can guarantee a minimum standard of visitor experience.

The Channel 10 report included a comment from aquarium director Shai Doron, who said that the fish have to be transferred and acclimated properly, without “cutting corners.”

The 30-tank compound, built over the last six years with an investment of NIS 100 million ($28.5 million), was supposed to be this summer’s attraction in Jerusalem, although the aquarium management never mentioned an official opening date.

The facility is the Middle East’s first landlocked aquarium and was based on the country’s national biodiversity plan, which had long recommended a national aquarium, in order to help aquatic conservation and education in Israel.

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