The President toured the Primorye Oceanarium together with President of the Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. Students of Gymnasium No. 2 in Vladivostok were also present at the ceremony, after the President invited them to the opening of the Oceanarium while visiting the school on September 1.
The Primorye Oceanarium science and education centre will become one of the world’s largest facilities of its kind. Its total area is about 35,000 square metres. The main building houses display aquariums with total capacity of 10,000 cubic metres, themed installations, a 70-metre-long underwater tunnel with a moving track, a dolphinarium, and a dolphin therapy department.
The complex will include over 500 species of marine and freshwater animals, inhabitants of Russia’s water areas (Sea of Japan, Sea of Okhotsk and Bering Sea, Amur River and Lake Khanka), polar seas, tropical rivers, and the world ocean.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. Hello, guys!
We have just looked around this great centre, and Madam President asked how this idea originated. It emerged in 2004, when I first came here, to Vladivostok, and visited the Institute of Marine Biology established back in 1970, in Soviet times. It was clearly a good science tank, we had great researchers here, world-class even, but they worked in a very modest environment, to say the least – using premises from the late 1970s.
I recalled the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco – a great educational and partly research institution. Of course, I thought that what we have here on the Pacific coast, in the Sea of Japan, on our eastern shores, is quite as good as the Mediterranean Sea, and maybe even better, in terms of biodiversity.
So gradually, the idea emerged and shaped, not only to build this Oceanarium as a commercial or rather non-commercial facility, but as a centre that would combine research, education and entertainment.
What we see here, and what future visitors will see is only part of what has been created. There are solid educational and scientific modules here as well.
There are other premises here, other tanks with animals designed for research, where people who come here, to this representational module, so to speak, will be able to study various aspects of marine biology, and more than that – they will be acquainted with the latest theories regarding the origin of our planet, the origin of life on Earth. I am confident that this popular-science part will be as important as the educational and research modules.
I would like to congratulate all those who have worked on the creation of this centre for many years; I wish them success in their work, and to the people who will come here from all parts of our vast country and from abroad, I hope they have an enjoyable and rewarding time here. And of course, I want to congratulate the residents of Vladivostok and the entire Primorye Territory on getting this new remarkable research, educational and entertainment centre.
All the best and good luck.
President of South Korea Park Geun-hye (retranslated): Mr President Putin, ladies and gentlemen,
Allow me to wholeheartedly congratulate you on the opening of this large Oceanarium in Russia, on Russky Island, which is a symbol of the Russian Far East.
I think this place, the easternmost point in Russia, is impregnated with the Russian people’s will to reach the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean. Throughout the history of humanity, the sea has always been out there, always representing an outlet into the world with limitless potential, an open space for our future.
Recently, there have been various challenges that threaten marine bioresources, such as climate change, ocean pollution, overfishing, illegal fishing, and so on.
I think that with due strength and wisdom we can overcome these challenges. In this context, I expect that the three countries that are present here today – South Korea, Russia and Japan – will be able to gain wisdom and cooperate to save the eastern sea’s biological system and environment.
I hope the Primorye Oceanarium will further grow into a centre for the conservation of marine biosystems, a centre of maritime culture and tourism. Thank you very much.
Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe (retranslated): Mr Putin, Ms Park Geun-hye, ladies and gentlemen,
I sincerely congratulate you on the opening of the first oceanarium in Russia. Allow me to express the hope that thanks to President Putin's strong support this oceanarium will become outstanding in the world.
If I am not mistaken, Japanese companies supplied some of the construction materials for the oceanarium, including acrylic panels for the pool and power generation for the oceanarium. We are very pleased that Japanese technology has been involved.
Japan and Russia exchange dolphins and other animals. I hear that these dolphins here also came from Japan. This oceanarium is interested in acquiring Humboldt penguins from us now. The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums is currently considering this possibility and has taken a positive view, planning on building long-term cooperation. I hope that these contacts will develop.
In conclusion, I would like to wish you success in the development of bilateral cooperation. Thank you.