Some unique Christmas trees are on show at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium from today as the attraction lights up five special conservation themed ‘fishmas’ trees. But one - a stunning six-foot tree created entirely from ice - won't last more than 24 hours, slowly melting away to represent the melting ice caps of the Arctic and Antarctic.
The others, seven-foot tall traditional spruces, have been imaginatively decorated to reflect shark finning, marine pollution, endangered British fish and disappearing coral reefs and will remain in the attraction throughout the festive season.
"We will have a wonderful Antarctic themed Christmas Grotto but when we started thinking about decorating a tree this year we realised we wanted to do something visually different that would also make guests think," explains Toby Forer, General Manager at The SEA LIFE London Aquarium. "The result is four stunning trees which at first glance appear to be quite traditional - but they are not. Each reflects an important marine conservation message. In addition, guests today can see our stunning ice tree as it slowly disappears - a reminder of the climate change that is slowly melting the planet's ice caps." Forer sums up: "The intention is first and foremost to make guests smile with the witty and striking designs - but also to give them some food for thought to take home."
The five trees unveiled today are:
Climate Change Ice Tree - A six-foot high tree made entirely of ice with penguin and polar bear designs etched into the branches. The tree will slowly melt to reflect climate change affecting these and other creatures in the Arctic and Antarctic. Melting ice caps rob penguins of their nesting grounds and food, causing dramatic drops in population.
Rubbish Tree - One of the four seemingly traditional spruces, this tree is decorated entirely from rubbish - including plastic bags, aluminium cans and bottle tops - similar to those found polluting the sea endangering fish and other sea life. Plastic pollution harms and kills millions of marine animals each year including sea turtles.
Coral Tree - This Christmas tree is decorated in an unconventionally exotic style, with bright tropical fish and twinkling lights in coral bright pinks and oranges. A reminder of the beauty being lost with damage to coral reefs across the world and more importantly, the loss of a vital element in the sea’s delicate ecosystem.
Shark Fin Tree - This quirky tree is a stark reminder of the damage being caused to populations of the ocean’s most misunderstood fish, through finning for shark fin soup. Decorated with 36 traditional Chinese soup bowls, each containing a plastic shark and each representing over one million of these majestic creatures killed each year for their fins.
Save British Fish Tree - The final tree visitors will see is a reminder of the dangers faced in Britain by our own homebred sea life. Overfishing and destruction of habitats have forced several species of British fish to the brink of extinction - including rays and skate, plaice and Rock salmon. The issue is represented on this tree with fishy decorations painted with a Union Jack colour scheme, metres of fishing net topped off with a plea from an endangered ray in place of a traditional angel.