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Entrance to the aquarium
Date opened 1987,[1] 2016
Date closed 2014
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
Land area Ards and North Down
Annual visitors Around 100,000
Website www.explorisni.com

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]

Exploris was closed in late 2014 for refurbishment.

The aquarium is set to reopen in summer 2016 following an investment of close to £1.5m in refurbishment works and with the help of Crumlin Road Gaol Ltd, who are the operators.


  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. 

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