The long-awaited inauguration of Poema del Mar, a modern and innovative aquarium launched by the company Loro Parque, took place on Sunday, 17th December in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Located right next to the Cruise Ship Pier in the Sanapu Dock only 200 meters away from the famous Las Canteras Beach, the aquarium has illuminated the centre of the capital of the island with an impressive multi-coloured shark silhouettes on the façade of the building.
The event featured the speech of Wolfgang Kiessling, President of Loro Parque; Christoph Kiessling, Vice-President of Loro Parque, followed by Luis Ibarra, President of the Port Authority; Augusto Hidalgo, Mayor of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; Antonio Morales, President of Gran Canaria’s Local Government; Carolina Darias, President of the Canary Islands Parliament, and Fernando Clavijo, President of the Canary Islands Government. All of them agreed on the large scale of the project and outlined the positive impact that Poema del Mar will have for the city, Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands in general.
The opening ceremony included different exciting performances, such as the one by Los Gofiones, a known local band who livened up the mood of the attendees with popular music original of the Canary Islands. A group of actors that features body painting artwork by the makeup artist Nauzet Afonso brought to life the legacy of Nestor de la Torre as the name of the aquarium Poema del Mar is directly inspired by the art of this outstanding Gran Canarian artist. Furthermore, the opening was blessed by both the General Vicar of the Canariensis Diocese, Hipolito Cabrera, and the Bishop of the Nivariense Diocese, Bernardo Alvarez.
Poema del Mar is a modern and ambitious project with a strong commitment to innovation, conservation of biodiversity, and excellence in sustainable tourism development. The aquarium has been called as a project of ‘strategic regional interest’ by the authorities of the Canary Islands, Spain, which would reinforce Gran Canaria and the entire archipelago as one of the top international tourism destinations worldwide.
The new aquarium will continue the same commitment to quality and excellence as demonstrated by Loro Parque. Loro Parque has always maintained a firm commitment to wellbeing of the animals, conservation of the biodiversity, as well as to ensuring the highest quality of its facilities and to demonstrating respect for the environment. This has been confirmed through multiple national and international distinctions, as well as seals of quality and of environmental commitment received throughout Loro Parque’s 45-year history. Among the most recent recognitions both Loro Parque and Siam Park were recognized by TripAdvisor in 2017 as the Best Zoo and Best Water Park in the World, an award that Siam Park has received for the 4th consecutive year.
A visit to the aquarium Poema del Mar will consist in discovering three different areas: surface marine ecosystems, deep marine ecosystems and fresh water species. Visitors will start the tour submerging in ‘The Jungle’ that recreates the landscapes and biodiversity of different parts of the world. The next area is the ‘Reef’, an enormous cylinder of 400.000 litres of water with a wide variety of colours created by fish and coral reefs. The ‘Deep Sea’ is the third area that culminates the tour of the aquarium and will amaze the visitors with its exposition that contains 5.5 million litres of water and the largest curved window in the world: 36 metres long and 7.3 metres high.
Poema del Mar intends to convert into a reference for Atlantic marine conservation, especially in the Macaronesian zone and the African Atlantic coast. The conservation activities of the aquarium Poema del Mar will be coordinated with Loro Parque Fundación, an organization with more than 20 years of experience in the development of research, education and conservation activities all over the world. Since 1994, the Foundation has carried out more than 100 conservation projects in 30 countries worldwide, and has dedicated more than 17,000,000 U.S. dollars to the conservation of the highly endangered animal species.