Fresh seawater for Amsterdam's Royal Artis Zoo

25 August 2015

Höegh Autoliners cooperation with Royal Artis Zoo helps facilitate our long-term commitment to environmental responsibility.

The Royal Artis Zoo in Amsterdam holds more than 900 species of animals and has 1.3 million litres of water flow through their Aquarium at all times. Since 1983, Höegh Autoliners has been contributing to sustain the wildlife in the zoo by “donating” about 500 000 litres of fresh seawater from our ballast tanks each year.


In 1882 when the aquarium was constructed, the seawater came from the North Sea, and from 1902 it has been taken from the Bay of Biscay. For many years, large shipping companies have been supplying Artis with this seawater. This arrangement helps facilitate our commitment to environmental responsibility, allowing us to dispose of ballast water in an environmentally friendly way, whilst also providing much needed seawater to the Royal Artis Zoo.


This July, one of our vessels passed the Bay of Biscay, providing Artis with 200 tonnes of fresh sea water from its ballast tank. The vessel brought the water to the port of Amsterdam where it was tested for salinity, acidity and clarity. After approval it was transported to Artis in special tankers and pumped in to the aquarium 150 000 litres at a time. The fresh seawater is distributed between the various saltwater systems of the Aquarium, providing comfortable habitats for an array of sea creatures.