National Marine Aquarium orders outside review after fish deaths
THE boss of Plymouth's National Marine Aquarium has hit back at criticism over its handling of an incident which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of fish.
Dr David Gibson, the NMA's managing director has claimed the Coxside attraction is doing 'as much as it can' to investigate how the disaster happened.
Hundreds of fish died at the NMA overnight on November 16 after a power cut caused the Atlantic Reef tank – the centrepiece of the aquarium – to drain.
The storms led to multiple power failures which knocked out the life support and back-up systems.
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Stating its case, the aquarium has published an 'incident investigation report' on its website.
It calls for a 'full statement' from Western Power Distribution as to the nature of the power supply during the course of the incident.
An independent review of the tank's Life Support System by a 'reputable' specialist engineering consultant has been ordered, and a review of the Building Management System functionality and infrastructure has been ordered.
Dr Gibson also said a new uninterruptible power supply with 'additional safety functionality' for the Building Management System had been installed.
Dr Gibson said: "We are taking action and we hope this will never happen again.
"We need to make sure this never happens again.
"Hindsight is a wonderful thing. The systems in place, with their alarms and failsafe elements, have worked perfectly for 12 years.
"We are taking action and we feel we have been extremely open and honest with this and we are still getting criticism.
"We feel we have been doing as much as we can do, and we are continuing to look at the issue."
Of the hundreds of fish in the affected tank only 30 survived and the display will not now re-open until February.
Plymouth City Council told The Herald earlier this week it was in discussions with the aquarium to establish exactly what happened and what measures, if any, needed to be taken to prevent any similar incidents in future.
Western Power Distribution was last night unavailable for comment.