Monster haul for Oban SEA LIFE Sanctuary
as giant halibut are re-homed
The Oban SEA LIFE Sanctuary will see a monster haul on Saturday 16th May 2010 as two giant halibut are re-homed at the centre.

Heidi and Hilda, a hefty two metres long each and growing fast, will be the biggest flatfish ever to be seen at a British aquarium. Arriving at the Oban SEA LIFE Sanctuary from Ardtoe Marine Laboratory, the grand old ladies are retiring to the Oban SEA LIFE centre having become too old to breed.
SEA LIFE Sanctuary Manager Alex Blackman says "the arrival of these two huge halibut is incredibly exciting for the SEA LIFE Sanctuary; the sheer size of them alone is breathtaking.

"It is natural for halibut to grow to this size, but it's a sight rarely seen because they are usually caught when they are a lot smaller and supplied to fish retailers for our freezers! Now people can come and see these awe-inspiring giants for themselves."
Halibut It will take four male members of the SEA LIFE team to move the colossal creatures from their transportation lorry on a specially made stretcher to their new retirement home in the centre's biggest tank where they can be seen by visitors.

Heidi and Hilda were caught by Ardtoe Marine Laboratory in 1987 as part of the Government's first ever captive breeding programme for halibut, which were frighteningly close to being on the endangered species list at the time.
Since then, the two 'super mums' have produced an estimated 300,000 eggs a year for the past twenty years. Although Heidi and Hilda will still produce eggs, the quality will have degenerated with age and the time has come for the girls to retire.
The largest halibut recorded in recent years was caught by Atlantic Sea Fisherman Soren Beck in 2008, measuring two and a half metres, weighing in at an immense 30 stone and worth £2,200.

With halibut living up to 70 years, there is plenty of time for Heidi and Hilda to catch up that final half metre and, with good care and attention, even outgrow their record breaking deep sea cousins.

Joining the two giants are a shoal of super-sized cod, also from the fish farm and which also have become too old to breed. Their size will be their saving grace sharing a tank with Heidi and Hilda, as all other fish have had to be removed to avoid becoming a fish supper.
Issued by The Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary
For more details, please contact Alex Blackman on 01631 720386
Press Release date: 16th May 2010