Quo vadis Zoo am Meer?
Also the Zoo am Meer had been rebuilt again and again during the past years so to correspond to the requirements of each time. At the end of the nineties there was again the necessity of an urgent complete renovation. Keeping requirements for zoo animals acc. to the German Animal Protection Law and the European Zoo Rules did not allow anymore a husbandry of certain animals in the old zoo because of the small size of hedges.
The old building material was such weary that there had been only the following options: either to close the zoo completely or to build it new. The possibility to close the zoo was not admitted by the Bremerhaven citizens. A signature collection in favour of their zoo did not give any doubt what was desired and wanted. However it was clear that the new zoo would have a different appearance for the limited area would admit only a defined choice of animals.
Although the area could be extended by moving the high-tide protection wall more next to the Weser by 40% to 8.600 m² and an useful area of 11.800 m² could be achieved by building in two levels but compared to other zoos it is still very small. Already at the time of opening in 1928 Dr. Lübben had the idea to limit the animal population to water animals and Nordic animals. However this main point could not be consequently realized in the following years for seamen brought exotic animals with them from their sea journey and gave those to the zoo who had taken care of them afterwards. But now this main point theme should be considered again.
Aquarium – Yes or No?
The question of having an aquarium in the zoo – the original germ cell of the old Tiergrotten had been discussed for long. The old aquarium was situated in the cellar of the Strandhalle and also this basin was weary, the filter and lighting technics were fully antiquated and could also not be maintained just because of working safety reasons.
Modern aquaria which like to defy competition have to have a certain size. Because of the small size of the zoo area this would not have been possible to be realized if also an attractive stand of mammals and birds should be included. However an aquarium belongs to Bremerhaven and so it will be – as per political decision – also realized next to the Alter/Neuer Hafen. The idea and plan had become clear – the zoo should be built new but without aquarium.