NMA hosts giant Humpback Whale tail installation to raise awareness of plastic pollution – as summer celebration of the Ocean’s greatest giants begins

Whale Tail
25th July 2019

Here at the NMA, we’re gearing up for a summer filled with Ocean-themed fun – and we’re inviting our visitors to dive head first into our exciting Ocean Giants summer holiday theme, which promises to be a celebration of some of the biggest creatures ever to have lived in the Ocean.

Running up until 2nd September, those visiting us over the next six weeks will be treated to a daily themed show in front of the huge Eddystone Reef exhibit, which will showcase the stories of amazing Ocean animals ranging from the biggest Blue Whale (the largest animal to have ever have lived on our planet!) to the mighty Megalodon (the massive extinct shark that was around 18 metres long),as well as some of the not so giant ones that live in our own huge tanks.

As part of the celebration, we will also be hosting a huge, 12-foot-long Humpback Whale tail sculpture made from recycled plastic bottles, which was created by 14-year-old Hatty Rousseau to raise awareness of the issue of plastic pollution and its impact on our Ocean. The installation will be taking pride of place in our Eddystone Reef area, where you will be able to view it throughout the summer holidays.

The impressive work of art, which took over six months to make, has been on a journey across the UK – dubbed ‘A Tale of a Tail’ – since October 2018, having previously been displayed at Pilton Community College, where the plastic bottles were collected, before moving onto Penryn Campus of Exeter University and the Barnstaple Library. Hatty, who has a keen interest in Ocean conservation first had the idea when she became aware of how much waste was made daily from her friends and other pupils at the school, buying soft drinks.

The amazing whale tail is the latest piece of amazing Ocean artwork we’ve been lucky enough to raise awareness of plastic pollution, following in the footsteps of the giant polar bear that lives in our Great Barrier Reef exhibit. The piece, which was constructed from plastic bags by artists Elly Voisin and Lou Thorn, was commissioned as a centrepiece for Plymouth’s Polar Bear Trail – run by the Plymouth Waterfront together with the NMA – in 2018.

Helen Gowans, our Public and Community Engagement Manager, says:

“We’re really pleased to be including Hatty’s incredible sculpture as part of our summer holiday theme this year. Our themes are always designed to be fun and full of exciting activities for our visitors to enjoy, but as always, there is a serious message and an educational element, too. As an Ocean conservation charity, raising awareness of important conservation issues such as plastic pollution is important to us, so we hope that our visitors this summer will not only come and explore the wonders of our amazing Ocean, but leave thinking about the small ways in which they might be able to help it, too.”

In addition to its Ocean Giants summer fun, we’ve also got a packed calendar of additional activities and events over the coming weeks, with something to suit all ages.

Our popular weekly boat trips will be making a welcome return from Saturday, 3rd August, running every Saturday throughout August – and will take you out on a journey around Plymouth Sound, where you can immerse yourselves in the wonders of the Ocean. Hosted by our team of expert Marine Biologists and Ocean Conservationists, those on board will be able to explore the history and nature of Plymouth’s stunning natural harbour, as well as learning all about the habitats the Ocean hosts and the amazing animals that live beneath the waves right here on our doorstep.

We’re also inviting people to join us on beaches around Plymouth this summer, where we will be running various days of Ocean-themed activities throughout the summer holidays. You will get the chance to explore rockpools and find out more about what lives in them, as well as getting involved with beach cleans to help keep litter out of our Ocean.

To find out more about our fun-packed calendar of events this summer, or to sign up to one of their many activities, visit www.national-aquarium.co.uk

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