Our core mission is to help the public discover the beauty and diversity of New Caledonia’s aquatic ecosystems.
The tour of the Aquarium is a journey through the different aquatic ecosystems of New Caledonia. The visitor enters a watery world, where he is first offered displays of lake and river habitats. Then, following the flow of the water, he arrives at the mangrove forest, discovers the lagoon, admires the reef-building corals, and the visit ends on a dive down to the ocean depths.
The Aquarium is a valuable educational tool for discovering, observing and understanding marine environments.
Beyond presenting the various ecosystems, the Aquarium aims at developing an awareness of their fragility, and of the need to preserve them.
The transmission of knowledge and awareness is accomplished through tours, guided or not, of the displays, and through a rich programme of weekly activities, evening presentations and lectures, and temporary exhibits. Through a network of volunteers, the Aquarium is present in the country at large: information booths on turtles in the various country fairs, ecological tours and mini-lectures for tourists on the lagoon islands, etc.
Scientific research has been an important facet of the Aquarium’s activities from the beginning. It was first brought to the public attention when our founder, Dr René Catala, presented the newly discovered fluorescent corals, and through the publication of a number of learned articles. It has made the Aquarium world famous.
Over the years, much research was conducted, and many partnerships were established with other institutions.
The basic aim is to contribute to a better understanding of New Caledonia’s aquatic environments, while, by doing so and sharing the knowledge with the general public, help foster a culture of respect and intelligent management.
From the beginning, the Aquarium has operated an animal clinic, particularly concerning ill or injured sea turtles, suitably equipped for the purpose.