Publié le April 23, 2019

“Stopovers in the Mediterranean”

and “Journey in the English Channel and the North Sea” exhibitions

NAUSICAA, National Sea Centre

April 2019




Stopovers in the Mediterranean    Journey in the English Channel and the North Sea


After several months of development work, the “Stopovers in the Mediterranean” and “Journey in the English Channel and the North Sea” areas within NAUSICAA’s “Mankind and Shores” exhibition area have a new look. Since the beginning of April 2019, the visitor experience has been enhanced by the design of some new displays and decor. The new look of these areas showcases the species and environment of the coastlines of the English Channel, the North Sea and the south of France.



The Mediterranean is a sea that is almost completely closed off. The total length of its coastline is 46,000 km!

Since ancient times, Mankind has settled on these welcoming shores where great civilisations have been born. The Mediterranean is famous for its flora and fauna which are unique in the world, the beauty of its landscapes and its incomparable historical heritage. It lavishes its treasures on an increasingly large population.

A space devoted entirely to shipwrecks has been created to capture the mystery and mesmerising atmosphere of these links to our past history, that lie sunken at the bottom of the seas.

In an underwater shipwreck, the visitor, like a diver, discovers the creatures that have become its new owners. The decor resembles the inside of a cargo freighter or ship with openings leading to the outside where fish and divers pass by. Every effort has been made to make this place spectacular.


Dusky grouper (Epinephelus marginatus):

Dusky grouper in nausicaa


The grouper is one of the Mediterranean’s most iconic fish. It is also one of the biggest fish that a diver can come across along France’s southern coastline. The grouper is a hermaphroditic species which is initially female before becoming male. The oldest individuals can reach the age of 50.

The dusky grouper lives on uneven rocky bottoms with cavities or caves where it can take shelter.





Mediterranean moray (Muraena helena):

Mediterranean moray in Nausicaa


The moray is a rather shy, territorial species which lives hidden in clefts. A nocturnal predator and poor swimmer, it generally hunts by ambushing its prey. It is found all over the Mediterranean Basin. It lives between the surface and a depth of about a hundred metres. The moray is particularly fond of shipwrecks, which offer many hiding places.








Churned up by powerful ocean movements, the waters of the English Channel and the North Sea are continually being renewed. These cold and choppy waters are rich in marine life. Very early on, Mankind came to live off these waters with their abundant fish, but they also provide a haven for birds, seals and dolphins. Nowadays, the region plays host to a large number of activities ranging from tourism to energy generation. The countries that border the English Channel and the North Sea have a major challenge on their hands: conserving this remarkable natural heritage which enables them to develop their economies.

The visitor experience has been enhanced by the installation of a new tank in which Norway lobsters can be observed in their burrows. A new audiovisual display design also highlights the scale of the tidal phenomenon which occurs in the Opal Coast region.

Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus):

Norway lobster in nausicaa

© Alexis Rosenfeld – Nausicaa

The Norway lobster is a sedentary crustacean that stays hidden in its burrow most of the time. But at night, it is an active predator. The Norway lobster can live in association with a fish, Fries’s goby.








In 2018, NAUSICAA became the largest aquarium in Europe with the opening of a new extension dedicated to the High Seas. Management of the high seas is one of the major issues of the 21st century, and the United Nations is currently discussing future methods of governance. Visitors can see vastness here: a powerful and living Ocean. The area resembles the island of Malpelo off the coast of Colombia. This extraordinarily-sized structure is a real architectural, aquatic and technical challenge which has been realised at NAUSICAA for the first time in Europe! Sharks, manta rays and shoals of other fish inhabit this area. An 18-metre-long transparent tunnel offering multiple views, a trench measuring 7.5 metres, giant windows and a viewing panel measuring 20 metres long and 5 metres high will give spectacular views of the big tank. Nearly 700,000 visitors have already discovered this new exhibition.

 NAUSICAA is much more than just an aquarium… In 28 years, NAUSICAA has welcomed nearly 17 million visitors and become a major player in efforts to raise awareness of the marine environment. It is a Centre where the unique marine environment can be discovered in a fun, educational and scientific way, with a primary focus on the relationship between Mankind and the Sea. NAUSICAA is a UNESCO « Centre of Excellence » for its awareness-raising work.


For more information, contact the PR/Press Department

NAUSICAA, French National Sea Centre – Boulogne-sur-Mer

Tel.: +33 (0) 321 309999 – Email: