Aquarium closes because of mechanical issues


FORT FISHER, NC (WWAY) — The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher closed to the public this morning because of mechanical issues with the main building chiller.

The aquarium closed at 10:30 a.m.

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According to a news release, the chiller controls building and habitat temperatures.

Due to exceedingly high heat and humidity in area, the aquarium says rising building temperatures make normal operations unsafe for visitors. The aquariums animal care team is monitoring habitat water temperatures and implementing safety protocols as needed.

Aquarium staff have identified the mechanical issues and repairs will begin as soon as possible.

The staff says it makes sure to keep the animals cool even if temperatures rise.

Aquarium Director Hap Fatzinger says each aquarium is a self-contained unit. He says they each have life support systems to help regulate them.

“The impacts of water are very insulative,” Fatzinger said. “So unlike air, where air temperatures fluctuate quickly whether it’s hot or cold, water temperatures fluctuate very slowly.”

Fatzinger says they also add extra chillers to tanks with cool water species.

He also says most animals in the collection are used to temperate water cycles.

“Most of the animals we have, except for our reptiles and our birds and amphibians and such, maintain the temperature of their surroundings, like the fish in this aquarium behind me,” he said “They are the temperature of the water. Most of the animals we have on display at the aquarium are native.”

An official with the aquarium says they are still working on repairs.