After 20 Years of Waiting, Aquarium to Be Built in Downtown Split?

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New downtown aquarium for Split near the famous Bacvice beach? 

The city authorities have decided to offer a site on Bačvice beach to a entrepreneur to open a city aquarium. Candidates are invited to submit their architectural designs. However, one project for the aquarium was prepared 20 years ago, but the city authorities have “lost it somewhere”, laughs Ante Kuzmanić, designer of the beach complex on Bačvice, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on August 19, 2015.

“Aquarium was supposed to have 2,000 square metres. It would include a room that is currently being used for exhibitions. The company which has been founded by the city and “Konstruktor-Inženjering” to manage the Bačvice beach has blocked the main entrance with its premises. The space reserved for the future aquarium can now be entered only from the lower entrance, where the bars are located. The aquarium must have two entrances, in case of emergencies or fires. However, the main entrance was supposed to be from the upper level”, explains Kuzmanić.

In aquarium, there was supposed to be a small lecture room, and next to it the water tank. Beneath the structure, there is a channel for water which would be pumped in through the pumping station. The water would first be brought up, and then the gravity would bring it down to the water tank.

Dr. Ivan Katavić from the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries assisted designers Kuzmanić and Širola, but says that since then nobody has spoken to him about the aquarium. “The aquarium was designed as a medium-sized aquarium by European standards, and would thus meet the requirements for tourism and educational purposes. The exhibits would be acquired from fishermen and the Institute. The main question is what would happen with the fish that are more sensitive. We intended to use the recycling of water saturated with oxygen, together with biological and mechanical filters, in order to reduce the exposure of individual fish to external pollution”, says Katavić. “We have planned for the aquarium to be fully equipped with touch screens. With the help of the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, we would create a database that would be popular and understandable to visitors.”

The other issue is noise on the Bačvice beach which could possibly disturb the fish. “At the time when we were drafting the project, nobody was thinking about all-night techno parties. I think that such gatherings bother guests of nearby hotels and apartments more than the fish”, says Kuzmanić.

Dr. Alen Soldo of the University Department of Marine Studies believes that the sound insulation of walls could solve the problem. “This would increase the cost of the project, but what I’m most interested in is what will happen with the whole project. Visitors get to see just a small part of the aquarium, while the most of it is hidden. We have not heard any answers from the authorities, so the question is what will ultimately happen”, says Soldo.


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