Where are you located?
We are located in the waters of Encounter Bay, just off of Granite Island, Victor Harbor, South Australia. Victor Harbor is about 1.5 hours drive South of Adelaide. Prior to moving to Victor Harbor, we were operating out of Port Lincoln, South Australia.
Where can we see penguins on the island?
The Little Penguins that inhabit Granite Island go out fishing during the day, and return at dusk. This is when our Guided Nature Tours depart. The start time for our tours can change depending on the time of year.
What time are the penguin tours?
Ranging from 5.30pm to 8.30pm, the start time for our tours can change depending on the time of year and Daylight Saving.
Are there still penguins on the island? How many?
Yes, there are still penguins on the island. The 2017-census recorded 28 adults penguins on Granite Island. The species is classed as ‘least of concern’ nationally by the IUCN, but every population has a different trend. Granite Island’s penguin population was considered as declining until recently, but data is showing that the decline has stabilised since 2010.
What caused the Little Penguin population to decline?
Many factors are involved in the decline of the little penguins, and not all populations are facing the same threats. In addition, some factors may interact with each other reinforcing their impacts. So far the following factors have been identified as an issue: low juvenile survival, marine predation, terrestrial predation (for example, on Granite Island, rats were an issue for breeding success prior to 2008), parasites, and changes in environmental conditions. Additionally, any added disturbance, such as human or dogs disturbance, can impact their stress levels and therefore their ability to cope with the threats.
Is the aquarium safe for children?
Absolutely! Our In-Sea Aquarium is set up for the entire family!
Can only adults swim with the tuna?
Absolutely not! The aquarium is designed for the whole family. Our smallest wetsuit fits a 2-3 year old, and our largest wetsuits are a size XXXL super stretch.
What is included on the In Sea Aquarium?
When you arrive on Granite Island, you will board our luxurious Catamaran to enjoy the short voyage to the In Sea Aquarium. There you can choose to don a wetsuit and get in and hand feed the fish, or enjoy feeding from the surface as well as our undersea viewing area. We have a variety of species that can be viewed as well as a touch tank to explore.
Is there an alternate price if we don’t wish to swim in the In Sea Aquarium?
The price is the same whether you would like to swim or spectate, this is because it is quite a large operation, and there are many things to enjoy even if you would prefer to stay dry.
Do you take companion card?
No, unfortunately, we do not.
Is it available for charter?
Is it a tuna farm?
No. We operate an In Sea Aquarium, which is an educational tourism facility. Our operating license is restricted to small quantities of fish and does not permit the sale of any fish.
How fast are Southern Bluefin Tuna?
A Southern Bluefin Tuna’s top speed is 70km per hour.
How big are the tuna in the aquarium?
Our Tuna average between 40 to 45 kgs and are just over 1 metre long. As they mature they obviously get bigger and we have some in there as big as 60kg.
How big can tuna get?
Southern Bluefin Tuna can reach over 200kgs!
How long do they live for?
Southern Bluefin Tuna can live up to 40 years old.
Where are they found?
Southern Bluefin Tuna spawn just south of Java. They then head south down the West Coast of Australia, either turning west and entering the Indian Ocean towards South Africa or entering the Great Australian Bite, moving around Tasmania into the Tasman sea.
Are the tuna happy?
They are very happy! We treat our tuna with care and respect in much the same way as you would treat your pets at home. They, along with all other species of marine life in our aquarium, are kept healthy and happy in order to educate others on our oceans.
Can sharks get into the aquarium and does the In Sea Aquarium attract sharks?
There is no evidence of a link between sharks and the In Sea Aquarium. Sharks are natural scavengers, and will be attracted to any opportunistic meal such as dead / injured fish. Our divers inspect the facility every day for any signs of predators and to ensure the facility is clean and secure, with no waste or food source for attraction. In the history of the Oceanic Victor In Sea Aquarium since its inception in 2011, there has been no interactions with any sharks.
Is the In Sea Aquarium bad for the environment?
We, alongside PIRSA and the EPA, monitor the potential environmental impacts that may occur due to the footprint of our facility. Potential impacts include scouring of the sea floor as well as shading from the shadow of the facility. Scouring has been eliminated by fixed anchoring points with no chain fitted and shadowing is being monitored by regular videoing of the sea floor under the facility.
Do I have to swim with the tuna if I visit the In Sea Aquarium?
Absolutely not! There is so much to experience on our In Sea Aquarium besides the swimming, and you can still interact with marine life even if you would prefer to stay dry.
Can we bring our fishing rods?
Are there other things to see in the aquarium?
Of course! We have approximately 40 other species of marine life in our In Sea Aquarium besides Southern Bluefin Tuna. These include mulloway, snapper, salmon, starfish, Port Jackson Sharks and trevally, among others.
How are the tuna put into the aquarium?
Our Tuna were purchased from a licensed operator and were transferred to our facility instead of going to the Japanese market. The transfer was done in the water where divers connected our facility to a holding pen and swam the Tuna through a gate which was filmed via underwater camera and lodged with the Australian Fisheries and Management Authority for compliance.
What do the tuna eat?
They are fed a variety of bait fish to ensure they receive all the nutrients they require to optimise health, primarily ‘pilchards’ or South Australian Sardines which are caught locally in South Australia and are their natural food source.
If you have a question that has not been answered here, please get in contact with a team member by heading to our ‘Contact Us’ page.