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Visitors to Honduras' marine aquarium

Honduras inaugurates Central America's first coral aquarium

The first marine aquarium in Central America, which displays coral species from the Mesoamerican Reef, some of them in danger of extinction, has opened its doors to the public in the coastal city of Tela, northern Honduras.

The space is designed for educational and scientific purposes, intended to show locals and tourists part of what is under the shallow waters of Tela. It runs out of the Honduras Shores Plantation tourist complex and was built and will be supported with private funds.

The exhibits in the space showcase mangrove ecosystems and various marine species, including corals, small crustaceans, mollusks and fish that inhabit Tela Bay, which is part of the Mesoamerican Reef system (MAR), the largest coral reef in the Atlantic Ocean.

Manager Antal Börcsök says educational institutions that wish to visit the aquarium starting next year will be able to plan their arrivals with the staff of the Tela Marine Research Center. They will open every day of the week from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm with free admission.

La Tribuna, with support from Internews' Earth Journalism Network, visited the new Tela marine aquarium and produced the following photo essay. 

A Spanish-language version of this story originally appeared in La Tribuna on 13 Dec. 2019.

Lionfish (P. volitans) exhibited in the aquarium, is an invasive species in the Mesoamerican Reef. Scientists want people know it in order to promote their commercialization and local consumption / Credit: Josué Quintana
Mangrove exhibition
An exhibition of the different mangrove species that grow in Honduras. During guide-led aquarium tours, visitors learn about the various species and the many benefits and services that they provide to human beings and coral reefsCredit: Josué Quintana
Corals on display
Antal Börcsök, Tela Marine’s manager, points to Acropora corals, considered the most emblematic species of the marine refuge. Despite water pollution in Tela Bay, they are thriving / Credit: Josué Quintana
Marine species
The exhibits have a special light that simulates solar light but with controlled temperature, so species inside the tanks won't get stressed / Credit: Josué Quintana

Banner image: Visitors to the marine aquarium, which was built for scientific and educational purposes. Honduran scientists were the first visitors, said manager Antal Börcsök / Credit: Josué Quintana