Fisheries and Maritime Museum, Esbjerg
The Fisheries and Maritime Museum (Danish: Fiskeri- og Søfartsmuseet) is a privately owned museum in Esbjerg, Denmark. Opened to the public in 1968, it consists of a saltwater aquarium and a sealarium as well as indoor and outdoor exhibitions on Danish fisheries and shipping.
The idea of creating a Danish fisheries museum with an aquarium came from the journalist Hakon Mielche in 1941. In 1962, a planning committee was formed in Esbjerg which soon led to the collection of artefacts. Building began in 1966, allowing the privately owned institution to be opened to the public in 1968. From the start, the museum contained a fisheries exhibition and a saltwater aquarium. A sealarium was added in 1976. In 1989 a start was made on an outdoor exhibition which was later extended. The museum established a research unit in 1994, followed in 2000 by the Centre for Maritime and Regional Studies (Center for Maritime og Regionale Studier), a cooperative venture with the University of Southern Denmark. In 1999, a five-storey museum building with almost 2,000 m2 (22,000 sq ft) of floor space was inaugurated, housing a new permanent exhibition, a library, storage rooms, an archive and offices. Provision was also made for temporary exhibitions while the educational facilities were modernized. A new saltwater aquarium was installed in 2002 and a new sealarium in 2013.
By 2007, the museum had welcomed six million visitors since its opening but thereafter, as a result of a considerable decrease in the number of Germans visiting Denmark, it experienced a few difficult years. Today, however, the museum is once again in good stead thanks to the enthusiasm of its staff and the support of Esbjerg Municipality.
Sphere of interest
Located at No. 2 Tarphagevej, some 4 km northwest of the centre of Esbjerg, the museum is open everyday from 10 am to 4 pm with extensions to 5 or 6 pm as daylight permits.