The Aguilas Learning Center of the Sea (CIMAR) is part of a program that has been formed under the Plan of Competitive Tourism: "Aguilas, sea and fishing". The Learning Center is financed by the Ministry of industry, energy and tourism, the autonomous community of the Region of Murcia, and the municipality of Águilas. This center has recently opened its doors, offering the visitor the necessary information and means to understand and enjoy the natural, cultural and maritime heritage of Aguilas. The center is focused on improving the perception and protection of the sea’s resources and culture. Also, it’s equipped to enhance the attractions of the city, redirecting the visitor to other points of interest, and natural landscapes.
The objective is to offer a panoramic view of the sea at Aguilas, to seek the necessary commitment of the public in order to protect its future. Landscapes, biodiversity, crafts, traditions... all of them require further knowledge and the respect of society. The Center will help in the process of enhancing and protecting these values.
The learning center has 3 distinct spaces; for example, the museum area. It is located in a room with an area of 400 square meters. The second space is the "José and Josepha" boat, a twenty-metre-long fishing boat that makes a common connection between the 2 main buildings. Finally, we have the aquarium building formed by a large tank containing 30,000 litres of sea water. This tank will house native species. There are also three tanks, each with a volume on 3000-litres—each one containing Mediterranean species. Finally, there are nine other thematic aquariums, each with a volume of at least 500 liters. They’ll contain species of animals and plants from all of the oceans and seas of the world.
The House of the Fisherman is a structure with a distinct ethnological character that recreates a typical fisherman’s home. It is set in the 1950´s. Here, visitors can discover the characteristics of a fishermen’s home, and how it used to be at that time---, the way of life of these men, and the utensils used by their families in everyday living.
The Learning center of the Sea, Aguilas Aquarium, is not a museum. It’s not a tourist information point, nor is it an educational workshop, nor solely for recreation. Nevertheless, it partially covers the function of each of those areas, combining them in order that, through learning, visitors can enjoy local characteristics.
In this particular case, the center aims to enhance the unique natural heritage of the aquiline coast, its important fishing tradition, as well as all activities and trades closely related to the sea.
As highlighted attractions in the center, we have aquariums and equipment that help one enjoy the various species of our coastline-- providing a focus of singular magnificence and exceptional beauty.
The aquariums play a leading role to the Learning Center being a place of sensations. This is especially due to the atmosphere and lighting. They radiate peace and mystery in an area of soft lighting, allowing one to visualize the different species and ecosystems described in the room. With the Learning Center providing an experience as true to life as possible, the visitor can learn about the complexity involved in the functions of the systems and behavior of each species
As one approaches CIMAR, one is greeted by a modern, bright blue building, crowned by the figure of a trawling boat, the José and Josepha, which was donated by the Gomez Leon family, a family of fishermen.
In the center, we have three distinct areas. The first of them is Aguilas Aquariums. Here, we take a trip through the different seas and oceans of the world, arriving at our own Mediterranean Sea. Entering the room of aquariums, we are welcomed by a 3,000-liter tank, which contains fishes and native invertebrates.
Later, we continue our tour around the nine tropical aquariums, each having a volume of more than 600 liters. They display the different ecosystems that can be found in other seas and oceans. These tanks contain different species of flora and fauna of great beauty and magnificence.
Then, by way of a ramp, we descend to a lower level, in which we´ll see the rest of the Mediterranean aquariums. Two of them have a capacity of 3,000 liters. The largest of our aquariums is also here, with a volume of 30,000 liters.
It displays a broad representation of fishes and invertebrates from our coastal waters. We can enjoy the view of fish, such as small sharks, thornback rays, serranids, or true eels, such as conger eels and electric eels, along with mollusks, crustaceans and echinoderms.
JOSÉ AND JOSEFA´S INTERIOR
After visiting the Aquarium, we turn left, and walk through a 70 meter long ramp leading to José and Josefa, an authentic trawling boat. Visitors can see the inside of the boat and the composition of the ribs that make up the boat’s structure.
Exiting "José and Josefa", we reach a walkway that leads us to the museum section of the facilities: the center for learning about the sea. We are going to do a tour through its different rooms. We start by visiting the Pedro Bayona Orts’ Collection of World Shells. Leaving this room, we reach the projection room, where we will learn about the history of Aguilas Center and its economic development linked to the sea. To do so, we will see a didactic video as we sit in original seats made with authentic fishing nets.
FISHING ARTS AND SYSTEMS
We continue our visit, going now to the area of "fishing arts and systems". On display are the various utensils and tools used by maritime professionals. These include a variety of fishing methods that have been used throughout history in our coastal waters. Many of these objects have been donated by citizens, such as Mr. Juan Navarro or Mr. Lorentho Román’s family, who selflessly contributed their collections of objects related to fishing.
Here we can see five representative models of the different fishing arts and systems used, such as tramel, Moorish, longline, seine and drag.
After learning about the tools used to fish, we turn our attention to our coastal cuisine, mentioning the uses of a number of caught species in different culinary recipes.
Before entering the "Fisher’s House", we can see a small wooden, Latin sailboat, made to scale, donated by Mr. Vicente Soler Pianelo.
THE FISHERMAN’S HOUSE
Once in the “Fisherman’s House”, well go back in time to the mid 20th century. You can personally experience the way of life of fishing families through a recreation of an old house, equipped with building materials and furnishings typical of that time.
We can see the thick walls, the wooden divisions in the ceiling, the whitewashed walls, and the old latrines. The decoration and furniture of the place take us back to the 1950´s.
Also the fireplace, crisper, and other items used at that time in the kitchens of these houses, allow us to travel to the past, showing the uniqueness of a way of life unimaginable for us today.
FELLOWSHIP OF FISHERMEN
We leave this room to continue the tour, until we reach the room reserved for the entity that represents the fishermen’s collective of Aguilas. This is the fellowship of fishermen. Here we´ll get to know its history and the activity carried out by this association. We should especially note the Auction Center, which has been recently been built, and works as the head office of the fellowship.
We continue with a tour around the different eecosystems of our coastal waters, where we can see models showing the seabed.
EXTERIOR OF “JOSÉ AND JOSEFA”.
We leave the center through the same door, but first, on the left, we’ll find the room that houses the previously mentioned collection of Mr. Lorenzo Roman.
Once we are outside of the museum room, we go back through the same walkway we used to access the place at the beginning. We go up the stairs leading to Jose and Josefa´s deck. There we can visit the boat and, from the bow, enjoy wonderful views of the Bay of Levante, the Castle of San Juan de las Aguilas, and the Auditorium building. From the stern, we can see Fraile Island, the jetty and the Bay of Hornillo.
After finishing the tour, we get off the boat by way the same access ramp.
Audioguías Bluehertz ha puesto en marcha para el Centro de Interpretación del Mar (CIMAR) un servicio de audio guías con contenidos disponibles en los idiomas español e inglés.
Learning Center of the Sea: Conde de Aranda, 8 30880 Aguilas, MURCIA
- Tel.: +34 96 849 32 87 -
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