The oceans cover 70% of the world’s surface. Just imagine what treasures of plant and marine life they must contain! Scientists reckon there may be some ten million still awaiting discovery. You can now find out more about the underwater world while remaining on dry land…
In the early 1990s, Michel de Spéville (founder of the Eclosia Group) and Philippe de Lacaze (Clear Reef International’s CEO and General Manager) began nurturing the crazy dream of constructing the region’s first oceanarium. Twenty-five years, investment of Rs 585 million and 45 aquatic features later, Odysseo surfaced in Les Salines, Port Louis. It’s time to dive in!
Take a deep breath! From your first steps inside Odysseo, you’ll be immersed in an out-of-this-world experience. Between sound and lighting effects, as well as captivating décors, the marine environment is recreated in 3,500 m2 of waterscapes housing the oceanarium’s 200 species and 3,500 specimens.
Sea horses, jellyfish, angelfish, emperor fish, octopuses – and the list goes on. Visitors aren’t going to be disappointed. While youngsters dive into the tunnels, attracted by the sight of tropical fish, some of the adults study the information boards. Several yards further on, everyone comes to a halt in front of the main tank in astonishment. A shark is swimming there peacefully, shortly followed by another.
In revealing the mysteries of the deep, the aim of Odysseo is to create awareness about the need to protect our marine ecosystems.
As well as its live collections, the oceanarium hosts temporary exhibitions, conferences, film projections and school visits. There are also interactive fun-learning areas. Orcas, polar bears and penguins appear virtually close to youngsters’ fingertips.
Outdoors, there are basins where they can watch and touch eagle rays, supervised by knowledgeable monitors.
Odysseo is involved in conservation work as well, partnering the Indian Ocean Plastic Expedition (ExPLOI) project, which aims to combat the plague of plastic in the Indian Ocean. It also has a nursery to encourage coral breeding and then re-introduce corals into their natural habitat. There is a great deal at stake as our lagoons and reefs play a crucial role in defending our precious marine ecosystem, while, if used wisely, our ocean also offers our economy considerable opportunities.