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We hosted our annual 'count & clean' of more than 6,000 creatures!

  • Tuesday 3rd January 2023


With clipboards, measuring tapes and brushes at the ready, aquarists at SEA LIFE London Aquarium conducted its annual creature ‘count and clean’ of thousands of its amazing marine species.

Wearing wetsuits and armed with a range of counting tools and cleaning equipment, the experts at the famous South Bank attraction faced the mammoth task of counting more than 6,100 of its fascinating creatures, in addition to sprucing-up their homes for an early spring clean, ready for this year’s guests.

With the first week of the new year in full swing, SEA LIFE London Aquarium is starting as it means to go on by getting all its exhibits and tanks in tip top condition, ready for a busy year ahead!


The early January tidy up, which is the first of the London Aquarium’s weekly cleans, included pumping the sand in the Rays pool, wiping down the clownfish tank and brushing up Penguin Point - it is no easy task to care for more than 6,000 creatures and their homes!

The team of expert aquarists skilfully inspect and count all of the animals during the annual count and clean, noting any new arrivals. The yearly activity allows the aquarists to get up close and personal with the creatures they care for and strengthen the relationships that already exist between them.

Catherine Pritchard, General Manager at SEA LIFE London Aquarium, said: “Our annual count and clean is one of our favourite times of year at SEA LIFE London Aquarium. It’s a fun way for the team to collect all the information we need to assess the overall health of our creatures, as well as making sure their homes are spic and span ready for the year ahead.

“While our aquarists have lots of fun during the count and clean, it’s also a task that we take very seriously as it’s a vital exercise that helps us maintain the health and well-being of our creatures both now and for future generations to come.”  

The count element of the annual event allows SEA LIFE London Aquarium to take part in international breeding programmes, alongside SEA LIFE centres around the world.  This includes the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (EAZA) studbook programmes which aim to conserve the healthy population of animals.


Count and Clean Fact File:

  • The Rainforest Adventure zone underwent its latest survey of the many creatures that call it home, including 133 Piranhas and 41 Pacus, the biggest of which measures 1.2m
  • Displays Supervisor Joe Feasey-Kemp was seen pumping sand in the Rays Pool, with the average skate ray weighing between 3-5kg
  • Whilst the clownfish tank in Coral Kingdom was being spruced up, Displays Supervisor Rowena Kennedy was able to count approximately 271 fish which measure on average 10cm

Ticket information

  • Entry at your chosen 15-minute time slot
  • Discover species from around the world in 14 themed zones and interact with them at our public feeding, diving displays and touch pools

Ticket information

  • Arrive at any time on the day of your choice