Fisheries and Maritime Museum, Esbjerg

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Harbour seal cub in the museum's sealarium

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.[1][2]


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.[3] 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.[2]

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.[3]

Sphere of interest[edit]

The museum addresses the areas of Danish fisheries, offshore activities, maritime environment, maritime mammels, shipping in the west of Jutland and the natural history of the Wadden Sea.[2]

Opening hours[edit]

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.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Fisheries and Maritime Museum - Esbjerg". Visit Denmark. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Status & Museets historie" (in Danish). Fiskeri- og Søfartsmuseet/Saltvandsakvariet. 
  3. ^ a b Morten Hahn-Pedersen. "Et museum i stadig bevægelse" (PDF) (in Danish). Fiskeri- og Søfartsmuseet. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°29′22″N 8°24′42″E / 55.48944°N 8.41167°E / 55.48944; 8.41167