By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
AT the end of the next month, the 20 million pound Palma Aquarium will open to the public and yesterday, the first of the giant water park's sharks were released into Europe's largest “fish tank” called the “Big Blue”.

Over the past few months, the aquarium has been slowly welcoming its nautical residents, marine fauna and flora from all over the world and yesterday morning at 7am, the aquarium's divers and marine biologists carefully released 12 sharks into the eight metre high tank which contains 3.5 million litres of water.

The marine park compromises 55 aquariums containing a wide range of flora, fauna and marine species from the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

When the park in the Playa de Palma opens next month, the aquariums will be home to 8000 specimens of 700 different species in five million litres of sea water.

The park has been specially designed to provide visitors with a unique experience and the tours, which last between three and four hours, have also been created to educate visitors about the importance of helping to protect and preserve the world's marine environment and its inhabitants.

The new aquarium has been welcomed by the Playa de Palma hotel association and the island's tourist industry as a whole as it is the first major all-year-round attraction to have been built on the island for decades and is expected to appeal to visitors from all over Spain and Europe, 365 days of the year.

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