Plans Underway for a New Public Aquarium in Gibraltar

British Overseas Territory Gibraltar looks set to get a new public aquarium at its natural harbour, Rosia Bay.

  • The new Gibraltar-based aquarium is planned for a historic site in Rosia Bay.
  • Final designs have now been submitted to officials for planning permission.
  • The planned site would complement the adjacent Gibraltar National Museum.

All being well, the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar is getting an all-new public aquarium.

Designs have now been submitted to government officials for planning permission. The new aquarium is planned for a historic site in Rosia Bay, Gibraltar’s famous natural harbour. Once hopefully approved, the venue will complement the Gibraltar National Museum, which sits adjacent to the earmarked Rosia Bay site.

The next door Gibraltar National Museum lies within Parson’s Lodge Battery, a coastal fort at the entrance of Rosia Bay. Also nearby is Gibraltar University at Europa Point. The institution at Europa Point is a degree-awarding university established in 2015.

The brand-new Gibraltar aquarium project is the brainchild of local businessman Jake Julian. Julian currently owns the Reef Pet Shop and Rainforest Cafe, around 10 minutes away on Fish Market Lane.

Also overseeing plans for the aquarium site are Australian firm Advanced Aquarium Technologies. For more than two decades, Advanced Aquarium Technologies have been helping to create some of the world’s most spectacular public aquariums.

Public Aquarium and in-House Laboratory

Plans reveal that the new public aquarium in Gibraltar will, if all goes ahead, exist across two floors. The aquarium itself will occupy the ground floor. Above that will be an in-house educational and research facility, including classrooms and a laboratory.

The same plans also detail how those behind the project promise to use historically accurate materials to construct the new aquarium.

This use of historically accurate materials will respect the original architecture of neighbouring buildings, including the adjacent Gibraltar National Museum within Parson’s Lodge Battery. Elsewhere, those responsible for the venture have submitted additional plans for a function room, sea-view restaurant, and accompanying terrace.

Impressive Green Credentials

The planned aquarium also boasts some impressive green credentials. That includes using interlinked air source heat pumps and energy recovery systems. Meanwhile, rainwater harvesting and solar panels further ensure even greater sustainability.

It’s hoped that such measures will appease the local government, which is right now focused squarely on energy efficiency in Gibraltar. The government, of course, is ultimately responsible for signing off on the new aquarium’s plans.

Moreover, the team behind the venture hopes to encourage walking, cycling, and the use of public transport to get to the new aquarium. That’s as parking continues to be a precious commodity in the area around Rosia Bay.

Finally, rounding off plans for the new Gibraltar aquarium is a mural by Jessica Darch. British-born Darch, who now resides in Andalusia, Spain, is well known in Gibraltar. That’s after painting a spectacular octopus mural on a building on Gibraltar’s Castle Steps back in 2017.