The $32 million contribution from the FMIN Fund will allow investment in an aquarium water recycling system, the purchase of 4 acrylic aquariums, the expansion of exhibition windows, among other things, and the improvement of species maintenance and the visuals and visitor experience.
Aquarium and Marine Museum in University of Católica del Norte School of Marine Sciences (UCN), by the Fund for Comprehensive Museum Improvement (FMIM), being one of 38 second call winning projects in 2021.
Regarding the importance of these funds, the Dean of the Faculty of Marine Sciences, Juan Machiavello Armangole, said that improvements have always been made using university resources, but now there is a larger project, so the money awarded is the first stage that will allow repairs to be made mainly in the aquarium water recycling system . The university body has highlighted the importance of the aquarium and the museum, in which the work of teaching is carried out at the undergraduate and postgraduate level (through theses group-based studies), research and actions on the environment, which are visited every year by about 20 thousand people mostly primary and middle school students.
Praxides Muñoz, Secretary of Research, Extension and Technical Assistance at the Faculty of Marine Sciences, stressed the importance of the award, as investing in the aquarium water recycling system will allow for more species, in better conditions and perhaps, in the future, we can have more aquariums. . These are “very important because people gain knowledge but also have a visual and emotional experience, which affects them, and this is how environmental awareness can be generated,” Praxidis said.
Remodeling work will begin in the second semester of this year, so that the aquarium and museum can serve the community starting in December.
An educational alternative to learn about our marine ecosystem
One of the inspirations for UCLA Aquariums is to help advance the management and knowledge of marine ecosystems in an educational way, and with that aim it was created shortly after the start of the School of Marine Sciences. Over the years, its facilities have attracted thousands of visitors, both citizens and foreigners, interested in learning about its collections.
In 1995, an exhibition room was built next to the aquariums, with different dry specimens such as mollusks, crustaceans, marine fossils, reptiles, birds, marine mammals and others. The room also contains a sample of ancient oceanographic instruments and explanatory posters. This exhibition is complemented by an interactive pond, where visitors can have closer contact with the marine invertebrate species in the area. It currently has four aquariums that reproduce the wonders of the various marine communities in the Coquimbo region.
It should be noted that Museums Comprehensive Improvement Fund managed by National Sub-Directorate of Museums (SNM) for the National Service for Cultural Heritage, for the second call 2021, received 44 projects, of which 38 were awarded resources, 27 correspond to museums of private management and 11 to museums of public administration.