When talking about the amazing animals of the sea we many people think of the Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon River however there is an amazing diverse range of species who live on our coasts here in Tynemouth. In our St Mary’s Island exhibit we look to celebrate some of the animals that live around our waters. From the colourful anemone to the small cold water sharks you will become an expert on our local wildlife. Next time you go to the beach keep your eyes peeled for some of the animals you see in this exhibit and count how many you can spot.

St Mary’s Island is a prominent local landmark named after the large white lighthouse that sits upon it. St Mary’s Lighthouse was built in 1898 with it’s purpose often up for debate as many argue that the lighthouse is purely for religious reasons and others believe it was used to help warn cargo ships of the rocky coast. If you would like to visit the Island there is a path from Curry Point at low tide but please don’t get trapped as it is a long swim back to shore and as you can see in our exhibits you won’t be the only one in the water. There is a visitor centre on the island which will let you find out more about the origins and the history of this local treasure.

Current Water Temp

<12°C / <53.6°F

Water Type

Salt Water

Climate / Biome


In This Exhibit

1 inverts, 14 fish, 5 elasmos

Where are we?

British Isles

Around St Mary’s there are a variety of environments that are suitable for different animals.  With the constant changing tide there are plenty of rockpools that create the perfect home for starfish and crustaceans as they are safe from their predators.  The water further out from the island becomes deep very quickly which offers lots of space for bigger fish to thrive such as Pollock and even small sharks such as Bull Huss.  In our exhibit there are lots of big characters to look out for such as our Cuckoo Wrasse who stands out with their bright colours and our different rays who can often be found splashing about.
Local Underwater Gardens
Anemone are the corals of the cold waters as an intelligent plant they have been able to adapt to live in temperate waters and are an important part of the eco-system. Almost all oceans around the world have some species of Sea anemone however many people believe that British Waters have some of the best selections. With over 70 species living in our temperate waters it is hard to argue with this.

In This Exhibit

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