Penang Aquarium, Batu Maung





Penang AquariumPenang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)






Edisi BM

The Penang Aquarium (GPS: 5.28587, 100.28626), officially known as Akuarium Tunku Abdul Rahman, is one of the tourist attractions in the fishing village of Batu Maung. Officially the Fisheries Department Research Institute Aquarium, this medium-size aquarium is located within the Fisheries Research Institute complex in Batu Maung, on the southeast tip of Penang Island.

The aquarium has 25 tanks to showcase various types of marine life, especially those found in the regional waters. Among them are the lion fish, the boxfishes, moray eels, tangs, surgeon fish, cat sharks, stone fish, angel fish, blue spotted stingray, fox face fish, parrot fish, squirrel fish, damsels, bivalves and more. The largest tank measures 15 ft by 10 ft and houses the big fishes such as the snappers, the tudung periuk and the nyior nyior.

Penang AquariumOne of the circular tanks at the Penang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)


Akuarium Tunku Abdul Rahman was named after the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, who opened the aquarium in 1968. It was originally located at Jalan Akuarium in Gelugor. Structural damage to that original building force the closure of that aquarium in 1982. It was over a decade later that the aquarium reopened in Batu Maung, in 1996, and was called the Akuatorium. The Akuatorium focused on displays of marine life and coral ecosystem.

The aquarium closed again in June 2013 for upgrading works. It was officially reopened on 15 August, 2014, by Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Dato' Sri Ismail bin Sabri.

Penang AquariumMy wife and I arriving at the Penang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)

My Visit to the Penang Aquarium

I paid a visit to the Penang Aquarium on 12 December, 2015. I have heard that it had reopened some time ago, but was interested to revisit it. I had been to the aquarium in Gelugor as a child many decades ago and had enjoyed it very much. I have also visited the aquarium when it first moved to Batu Maung, but have not been duly impressed with the displays.

This time around, I was surprised that I was quite impressed (partly because I do not go with an elevated expectation). I am pleased with the improvement that has been carried out. I do not attempt to compare it with grander aquariums in Langkawi or Singapore, but for one run by the Fisheries Research Institute, it is very comprehensive and informative. Kudos to those who upgraded the aquarium. The admission fee is a mere RM5 per adult, much lower than the larger aquaria.

The first section of the aquarium has tanks with regional fishes. There are also circular tanks placed in the middle of each hall. In one of them are lobsters. Each tank carries interpretive boards explaining the type of fish, their scientific names and genus, and their spread in the world.

Some of the highlights at the aquarium include the seahorse and the jellyfish. There is also an exhibit of coconut crabs, but alas, they are not live crabs. There are also tanks with various types of ornamental fish, such as the discus and the goldfish.

The outdoor exhibits are also very interesting. There is a whole skeleton of a Bryde Whale, which washed ashore at Pantai Pulau Sayak in Kedah on 9 February, 2011.

Penang AquariumSeahorses at the Penang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumA clownfish with a sea anemone at the Penang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumThe discus, one of the ornamental fish at the Penang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumAnother discus at the Penang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumA school of fish that seem to head upwards (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumVisitors walking past the various exhibits (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumVisitors at the Penang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumOne of the lobsters at the Penang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumOne of the coconut crabs at the Penang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumTurtle at the Penang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumCorals at the Penang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumA colourful shrimp on the seabed at the Penang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumJellyfish at the Penang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumThe shark at the Penang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumThe outdoor exhibits at the Penang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumThe koi pond at the Penang Aquarium (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumThe sea turtle tank. There is a warning sign here that the turtles bite. (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumA sea turtle at the Penang Aquarium. (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumColourful terrapins at the Penang Aquarium. (12 December, 2015)


Penang AquariumA tortoise at rest at the Penang Aquarium. (12 December, 2015)

Feature Exhibits

Bryde Whale Exhibit


Details


When we entered the Penang Aquarium, we had our photo taken. By the time we were ready to leave, our photo is ready to be purchased. I usually do not purchase such souvenir photos, but seeing that they did a good job here, I decided to buy a frame copy, as a sweet memory of our visit.

Penang AquariumMy wife and I with the framed commemorative photo at the entrance of the Penang Aquarium. (12 December, 2015)

Visiting the Penang Aquarium

The Penang Aquarium is open daily except Wednesday. Entrance fees is RM5 per adult and RM2 per child below age 12. Students coming in a school group pay RM1.50 per person.

Contact

Fisheries Research Institute
11960 Batu Maung, Penang.
Phone: 626 3925/6

Penang AquariumClownfish and sea anemone at the Penang Aquarium (12 March, 2005)

Updates on the Penang Aquarium

28 July 2011: The Araipama Gigas, a giant of a fish, died when it was transferred to a new aquarium. There is now a saltwater pond for four playful turtles - though they can bite. A wild otter had intruded on the pond and feasted on the Japanese carps. The staff is trying their best to keep the aquarium running by adding new fish.

Display case, Penang AquariumDisplay case, Penang Aquarium (12 March, 2005)


Soft coral, Penang AquariumSoft coral, Penang Aquarium (12 March, 2005)


Florescent coral, Penang AquariumFlorescent coral, Penang Aquarium (12 March, 2005)


Getting there

The nearest bus stop is along Jalan Batu Maung. It is served by Rapid Penang bus 302 and 307.

Penang Aquarium is on the map of Batu Maung



Penang AquariumPenang Aquarium (12 March, 2005)


Penang AquariumMarine life on display at the Penang Aquarium (12 March, 2005)

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