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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

SEA LIFE London Aquarium lights up with special 'Fishmas' trees

12th December 2013

With Christmas now less than two weeks away, attractions across the capital are busy putting up their tinsel and other festive decorations, although you're unlikely to find any that are more unique than those at the London SEA LIFE Aquarium.

As part of a special campaign to highlight important marine issues, the underwater discovery centre has created four 'Fishmas' trees, each of which represents a different theme.

The trees themselves are each seven foot tall and are decorated with unusual fish-related items, in the hope of bringing visitors' attention to some of the major problems currently being faced by aquatic wildlife across the world.

Among the creations is the Rubbish Tree, which is adorned with all manner of items that have been cast away – such as plastic bags, bottle tops and drinks cans – instead of baubles and other regular Christmas decorations. The message behind the tree relates to the huge amount of rubbish that is being thrown into the world's oceans every year, resulting in significant marine pollution and posing a serious threat to the wellbeing of large numbers of aquatic animal and plant species.

The Coral Tree, meanwhile, is decorated with brightly coloured tropical fish and coral, and highlights the fragility of the world's reefs and the fact that they are being eroded as a result of human activity.

The Shark Finning Tree features 36 Chinese soup bowls, with each one representing a million sharks, to bring attention to the fact that 36 million sharks are killed annually for their fins, which are then used to make soup while the rest of the body is simply discarded. Often the sharks are thrown back into the water alive and left to slowly drown.

Finally, the Save the British Fish Tree contains a number of items that represent the wildlife that lives along our nation's shoreline, reminding visitors of what could be lost if efforts aren't made to clean up the sea.

The SEA LIFE London Aquarium can be found on the South Bank, close to Waterloo tube station.

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