A.V. Ragunathan

CUDDALORE: The aquarium at the Subbarayalu Municipal Park here is in need of attention. A year ago, it was a full-fledged aquarium. However, it now has fewer fish species in insufficiently filled tanks.

The aquarium was earlier maintained by the Cuddalore Municipality with guidance from the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS) in Marine Biology of Annamalai University. In fact, the CAS had deployed two of its faculty members for the upkeep of the fish species.

Care was taken to feed the species and maintain the fish tanks in a hygienic condition. Initially, the civic body had not fixed entry fee to the aquarium . However, the gate collection was not up to the expectation. Fishes started to die for want of aeration.

Collector P. Seetharaman visited the park recently and suggested measures to the municipality to revive the aquarium.

He told The Hindu that a mobile unit pressed into service for creating awareness of zoological species among students would be asked to distribute handbills on the aquarium. Mr. Seetharaman also mooted the idea of setting up an ice-cream parlour in the park and utilising the profit thereof for maintaining the aquarium. The aquarium also could sell ornamental and “vaasthu” fishes, feed and apparatus required to generate more revenue.

The Collector said that he had directed the civic body to prepare a sketch of a cross-section of the sea, depicting habitats of marine creatures at various depths. It would be recreated on the outer walls of the aquarium to give a preview of marine life to the visitors.

K. Srinivasan, a resident of Koothapakkam, who visited the park, said that an entry fee of Rs. 2 was being collected at present. To sustain interest of people, new species should be brought in periodically, he said.