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Entrance to the aquarium
Date opened 1987[1]
Location Portaferry, Northern Ireland
Coordinates 54°22′55″N 5°32′56″W / 54.382°N 5.549°W / 54.382; -5.549Coordinates: 54°22′55″N 5°32′56″W / 54.382°N 5.549°W / 54.382; -5.549
Website www.exploris.org.uk

Exploris is a public aquarium situated in Portaferry, Northern Ireland. The facility is located on the shores of the Marine Nature reserve of Strangford Lough, which is an important winter migration destination for many wading and sea birds. The lough is home to almost 75% of the marine species found in Northern Ireland, including common seals, basking sharks and Brent Geese. Three quarters of the world population of Pale Bellied Brent Geese spend winter in the lough area. Exploris illustrates and exhibits the large variety of animals that live in Strangford Lough.[1][2]

As of 2009, the future of the aquarium, one of Northern Ireland's top tourist attractions, is in doubt because ards Borough Council is seeking to reduce the £750,000 per year it costs.[3]


  1. ^ a b "About Exploris: Background". exploris.org.uk. Exploris. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Waterways – Strangford Lough". bbc.co.uk. BBC. February 2006. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Aquarium funding future in doubt". BBC News. 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-03-25. 

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