Marine Centres - Marine Science Center

The Marine Science Centre, or the ‘Aula del Mar’, is situated in Málaga at the main port on the Avenida Manuel Agustin Heredia. The centre is effectively an aquarium museum that works actively in the conservation and protection of marine life. It is divided into two parts: firstly the aquarium, which is a reproduction of the natural habitat of over 500 marine animals, divided into some 100 species which visitors can observe. The second part is the museum, showing the huge diversity of different types of flora and fauna marine life of the Málaga coastline.

The centre offers three different programmes of activities. The first is an audiovisual presentation on all types of marine life around Málaga and a guided tour of the museum, the aquarium and the turtle sanctuary, and lasts for approximately one and a half hours. The second programme offers the same as the first but with an added tour of the bay of Málaga in a boat for fish spotting. The full programme lasts roughly five hours. The final programme again offers the same as the first but includes the opportunity to observe various experiments in an oceanography laboratory and to feed and care for the turtles in the turtle sanctuary. It lasts around four hours.

The centre is open Oct -Mar every day from 10am - 2pm, Apr- Sept from 10am-2pm and then from 5-8pm, and Jul-Aug from 11am-2pm and then 6-10pm. The admission price for adults is 4 euros and for children and pensioners 3 euros (2003).

Conservation and protection

The Marine Science Centre works closely alongside an organization known as CREMA, a rehabilitation centre for endangered species along the coastlines of Málaga. Frequently many marine animals are found injured or dying on the beaches that do not receive adequate attention. For example, more than 25,000 marine turtles are accidentally captured every year in the Mediterranean in fishing nets. Many are returned to the sea by the fishermen but the majority are already severely injured by the fishing equipment and die without medical attention. CREMA is an organization that aims to help these animals and return as many of the recuperated as possible to the sea. It also promotes the education of the marine environment and the activities offered by the centre. There are two groups which have different functions within the organization: the first deals with all types of experiments and records data to develop marine understanding and advance research to improve care for the rescued animals. The second group is responsible for their treatment, care and recuperation.