Category: what's on

BBC2's new 'Secrets of the Aquarium' series is showing that the National Marine Aquarium is 'more than just an Aquarium' according to the Ocean Conservation Trust's (OCT) Engagement Manager Freyja Thomson-Alberts. 

Filmed over a year, the new six-part series explores the incredible underwater homes of thousands of animals at the National Marine Aquarium, home to the Ocean Conservation Trust. 

The brand new docu-series follows the lives of the 5000 extraordinary animals that live at the aquarium as well as the 100 invaluable individuals who care for them daily.

Episode one witnessed a once-in-a-decade event where a problematic shark, El Diablo, had to be moved from one tank at the bottom of the NMA to another at the top. The curtain raiser episode also included the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park open weekend in 2022, where over 3,000 people were able to visit the NMA free of charge, thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

Without revealing any spoilers, Freyja Thomson-Alberts, who prominently featured in episode two, said that the series offers a greater insight into all the hard work that goes in to ensure that the aquarium can function on a day-to-day basis. Freyja said: "It's been amazing because it tells the story of the aquarium really well. It showcases that we are more than just an aquarium. 

"It really shows that we are always forward-facing, always looking at new ways to engage and making sure that everyone is connecting to the ocean in a way that is accessible for them as well. I think that comes through really well, there are different ways that people can connect and everyone gets their own enjoyment out of that.

"I think that comes through in the next few episodes. There is a lot more captured of the engagement work that we do."

As Engagement Manager for the Ocean Conservation Trust, Freyja oversees all of their engagement programmes which include public and community-facing projects. 

Interior engagement events to get members of the public involved with the NMA have included workshops and live shows, while there are also community programmes to help people connect with marine life. 

One of these is called the Ocean for All programme which involves members of staff visiting care homes with virtual reality headsets which offer an insight into what life is like in the tanks of the Aquarium, thus making more people aware, and involved in all that happens beneath the waves at the country's biggest Aquairum.  

We learn more about the Ocean for All programme in episode two as the filming team join the OCT on one of their engagement visits in Plymouth. Freyja admitted having the big cameras around took a bit of getting used to, she said: "It was a little weird to begin with because obviously we are just used to cracking on.

"But once you get used to them it's like they are not there at all. They weren't too intrusive, I think I was more aware of what I was saying but apart from that it was just a normal day in the office essentially!"

Freyja added that programmes such as the Ocean for All scheme were one of the most enjoyable parts of her role. "I think for me it is being able to show people that there are different ways to connect with the ocean rather than just getting in the sea." She began.  "I think that has been my big thing since I have worked here is being able to find different ways and look for new innovations."

Secrets of the Aquarium airs on BBC2 at 8pm every Tuesday. If you have missed an episode you can catch up via BBC iPlayer



  1. bekean
    Attention all music mavens! Heardle is the game that promises to tickle your auditory senses and challenge your musical knowledge. Immerse yourself in a world of diverse genres and decades, and let the guessing games commence!
  2. PayForEssay
    As an authority in the field, I can vouch for the credibility of Their team of writers demonstrates a nuanced understanding of various citation styles and possesses the skills to create annotated bibliographies that adhere to the highest academic standards. The site's dedication to client satisfaction is evident in the consistently positive feedback from users. Their reputation for reliability is well-deserved.

Leave a Reply