Who are we?

Qui-sommes-nous-ouvaquarium

The "Aquarium des Lagons" is a public joint venture between the Government of New Caledonia, the Government of the Southern Province, and the City of Noumea.

The statutes of the organization define its major goals and objectives :

  • Management of the Aquarium
  • Contribute to the promotion, protection and conservation of New Caledonia's aquatic environments
  • Take part in the promotion of tourism in New Caledonia
  • contribute to the distribution of scientific information relating to aquatic flora and fauna
  • Develop partnership with other French, European or international institutions engaged in similar activities

Our mission is to reach these goals and objectives.
The Aquarium team, with the range of disciplines called for, is constantly working with this in mind.

Our Jobs

Behind the scenes, a team of men and women is busy on a daily basis to improve, maintain and bring life to the Aquarium. Thanks to them, the public can admire true-to-life reconstructions of New Caledonian aquatic ecosystems and learn about them to better protect them.

They work behind the scenes and the general public is usually unaware of the amount of work required before live specimens can be displayed in their natural habitat. The work is relentless, as they must be able to react instantly to any breakdown – often in the middle of the night: Murphy's Law is their constant companion.

Among these professionals , there are of course the technical and the extension staff, but also maintenance and administrative personnel.


The (aquarium) caretakers

The upkeep of the tanks and dispalys and the daily care of the resident populations require the presence of 7 technicians, who must be ready to respond to a call 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
Their task is to ensure the quality of the displays, manage and diversify the resident species, make sure they are kept healthy, while monitoring reproduction.

 

All these caretakers must have a variety of talents :

  • They have to be biologists : they make observations on the resident populations, take care of their diet, look after their health
  • They have to be skilled divers : to maintain the larger tanks, but also to catch new specimens in the wild
  • They must be lab technicians : to monitor the various chemical and physical characteristics of the water, such as temperature, pH, salinity
  • They are have to be cooks : to prepare special food adapted to each species (fish, molluscs, vegetables) and feed them according to a schedule suitable for each
  • They need to be competent plumbers : an aquarium is a labyrinth of pipes
  • and of course, they must have an artistic bend to be able to devise attractive displays.

The guides and education officers

When the Aquarium is open to the public, the guides provide fun and informative explanations to all levels and ages.

They offer a range of activities within the display area, essentially on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons or on special occasions (World Ocean Day)

During school holidays, they organise educational workshops for the young public

At various times during the year, the education department presents a temporary exhibits. Such exhibitions usually are displayed over a period of several months and focus on a particular theme either a particular species or ecosystem.

The greatest part of the workload of the education officers is to cater for schools throughout the school year. More than 10,000 school children visit the Aquarium every year, and the education officers offer a range of workshops and guided tours adapted to the children's age and level.

Theyare also in charge of producing the educational material used within the Aquarium :

  • Interactive quizzes
  • Explanatory labels
  • Posters
  • Audio-guides, etc.

They are constantly updating and upgrading, and designing new "products" of interest to visitors.

The scientists

Scientific research is, and has always beenpart of the Aquarium's calling.

The research team is made up of a resident scientist ,PhD in Marine Biology,( who is also in charge of the education department), and a research assistant.

Their studies contribute to a better understanding of New Caledonia's aquatic environments, and by sharing the results of their work with the public. they foster greater respect and clever conservation of these fragile environments.

Some of the research is carried in house (the recruitment of reef fishes) or in cooperation with other research institutions (cross-overs between habitats; the migratory patterns of sea turtles in the Pacific, biodiversity of fish parasites, etc).

Their work includes :

  • Defining the experimental protocols
  • Field work, sample collection
  • Data processing and analysiss
  • Writing and publishing scientific articles and reports

The maintenance technicians

Theirs is an essential but thankless task: the public is not even aware of their existence
Yet they are very much on the job throughout the facility, always with something to maintain of fix (pumps, filters, aeration, lighting, air-conditioning, etc.), from the display area to the technical galleries or the back offices, all the way to the grounds
They also participate in the various construction projects, providing field savvy and skills, whether as plumbers, carpenters or electricians.
These men are at the heart of the whole system, and their motto is "we can fix anything".

The front desk clerks

Our front desk clerks add greatly to the pleasure of a visit to the Aquarium. Two of them work at the ticket counter, welcoming the visitors, and one operates the shop. Often, they are the only staff members that the public gets to meet.
Not only do they have an essential role in the good running of the establishment (after all, they collect the money), they are the face of the Aquarium: their ready smile and efficiency will leave a pleasant memory with the visitor.

The desk jockeys

The administrative staff comprises the Director, one secretary, an accountant and an assistant accountant (part-time). They ensure the smooth running of the establishment
They prepare the purchase orders, the invoices, the payroll, they handle the suppliers, they communicate with the media. Without them, the whole operation would come to a grinding halt.