Ilfracombe Aquarium

Pier Cafe & Gift Shop opening 12th April | Exhibits hoping 17th May


Mission statement

The Ilfracombe Aquarium aims to provide opportunities for greater understanding and appreciation for aquatic life through the recreation of natural habitats and use of interpretation. It encourages the development of knowledge and aims to inspire visitors to engage with organisations that actively conserve the aquatic environment.

Animal welfare

Animal welfare is regarded of paramount importance and is carefully considered continuously. Dedicated, qualified and experienced staff are committed to the welfare of the animals 365 days a year. Animals held in the collection are species that are proven to survive well in captivity. Acquisition is carefully controlled and carried out humanely. Once under our supervision, the animals are given the best possible care to achieve a long and natural life expectancy. A high quality of life is achieved through stocking in appropriate exhibits, the maintenance of water quality, the administering of appropriate diets, and specialist veterinary care. The aquarium team conduct regular ethical reviews covering all aspects of animal husbandry, record keeping and consult with a specialist fish vet to ensure everything is being done to secure animal welfare. Areas for improvements are always available. They are identified and actioned. The staff are encouraged to gain knowledge and skills through communications with colleagues within the aquarium industry.


The Ilfracombe aquarium (IA) is committed to conservation both directly and indirectly. Directly it is locally involved with cleaning and surveying Ilfracombe Harbour beach every year as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) Adopt a Beach program. It encourages research opportunities for students. Within the exhibition, captive breeding of some species occurs providing future animals for exhibits, lessening the reliance on wild specimens.

Indirectly the exhibition provides inspiration and opportunity for visitors to engage with conservation organisations. The IA promotes organisations that carry out conservation work e.g. the Environment Agency (EA), the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT), MCS, Shark Trust (ST), Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Natural England (NE), and Marine Biological Association (MBA). It is actively involved in conservation campaigns such as MCS Marine Reserves Now (2009) and Your Seas Your Voice (2010). It also continues to promote the MCS Good Fish Guide. Also working with the MCS it has facilitated the Cool Seas Roadshow travelling to North Devon (2008, 2010). This is a school education program promoting marine conservation. To date it has engaged nearly 2000 local school children. With MSC it promotes the MSC brand and encourages consumers towards sustainable fish products. It has participated in activities such as DWT Rockpool rambles, the celebrations of 50 years of AONB (2010) and the friends of the COOP visiting Lundy (promoting the marine reserve) (2010). Through NE it promotes the Lundy Marine Conservation Zone and it’s benefits.

Environmental policy

The Ilfracombe Aquarium conducts a responsible approach towards the environment. On the animal front an extensive approach to the stocking of the exhibits is conducted meaning that minimal numbers of animals are utilised for display purposes. Locally sourced animals are preferred and species of the IUCN conservation status ‘of least concern’ are stocked. Most species are in fact ‘data deficient’ as are non-commercial species. Since it’s inception in 2001 the aquarium has been implementing ways to reduce it’s impact. It recycles all paper, card, bottles, tins and some plastics. It has invested in the latest LED light technology and has streamlined it’s life support systems so as to reduce it’s energy consumption. It has invested in insulation and manages heat sources.

It’s environmental impact will continue to be reviewed within the ethical review process with the continued aim of reducing it’s impact on the environment. It will in the near future look towards the viability of photovoltaic cells to provide green power. If funding comes available then it would be wonderful to commit to this technology.

Access Policy

We endeavour to promote and provide equal access for all. All staff are aware of the value of every visitor, trained to a high standard of customer care and are commited to meet customer needs.

We strive to treat all customers as individuals, are aware of specific visitor needs requiring our additional support and try to provide this at all times.

Future developments will be designed and planned with access in mind. Policies, Practices and Procedures with regard to the Disability Discrimination Act 1981 are frequently reviewed by our experienced staff.

We have signed up to the charter created by the Ilfracombe Access Group. Please access their website on for more information about this and information about access in Ilfracombe generally.

Data Protection Policy

The data we gather here is gathered purely for legitimate interests. We only use the data in a the way in which you would reasonably expect and will have a minimal impact on privacy.

The personal data which is gathered and held at the Ilfracombe Aquarium falls into three categories:

  1. Customer bank card receipts
  2. CCTV
  3. Personal information on staff


The following statements explain why we gather the information, how it is stored, how it is processed and how it is destroyed:

Customer bank card receipts: to verify that money paid is money received. They are stored in the till during the day of the transaction and then in a locked filing cabinet until processed, (within a month of the initial transaction). Once processed they are shredded. This task is carried out by senior members of staff, who have been trained in handling personal data. The only third party with whom the information might be shared is the company who provides the card terminal, currently Worldpay (April 18).


CCTV: used to prevent crime. The images are stored on a hard drive which is only accessible by a password, known by only the 2 directors of the business.


Personal information on staff: this data is acquired to enable the business to process wages, pension payments and contact the employee regarding work related issues. These are all lawful requirements of holding personal data.

The data on each individual is acquired at the early stages of their employment. It is then processed onto Money Soft Payroll system, Co operative Bank website and the Nest pension scheme. This information is on two computer systems, both require a password to access, known only by the data processor, currently Martha Raybone. The data is also stored in personal files which are locked in a filing cabinet. The only two keyholders to this filing cabinet are the two directors, Martha and Lawrence Raybone.

The data held on individuals is reviewed on a yearly basis and only the most up to date information is kept.

If any employee leaves the business their information is stored in the above places but is then destroyed after 1 year by deleting on the above software programs and shredding when in a paper format.

Any individual can ask to have access to their personal information.This access will be granted within a week of their request.

The processor of the data, which is currently Martha Raybone, will review on a yearly basis the effectiveness of handling the data we have and how it is stored.