A British waters basking shark, just one of many vulnerable marine creatures
Currently about £50,000 sits in the kitty. But the idea is to contribute to, not necessarily fund completely, given projects. That way, more projects are supported.

Its often the last £2000 or £3000 that prevents a great project going forward, said Kelvin Boot, NMA Aquarium Director. We can now help a lot of dedicated people spread the message about just how wonderful the oceans are and how they need our protection.

The funds remit is broad, with the NMA looking to support not only the traditional marine conservation organisations. Theatrical, musical and artistic projects can also receive backing.

The charity, named The National Aquarium, is being funded from a percentage of aquarium ticket sales, administered under the Governments Gift Aid scheme, which allows tax relief on donations to charitable causes.

First recipients of awards have included The Shark Trust, The Sir Alastair Hardy Foundation, The Ionian Sea Marine Life Survey, Coral Cay Conservation, and The East End Art of the Community by the Barefoot Project.

If you think you could qualify for a grant, contact Jo Trott, PA to the Aquarium Director  tel. 01752 275204, email jo.trott@national-aquarium.co.uk