Olivia Wannan at Stuff reports:

A Wellington marine centre lost over half of its marine life in a devastating act of vandalism overnight.

Arriving to the centre at Wellington’s historic bait shed at about 10am, Island Bay Marine Education Centre discovery programme manager Julian Hodge found the water system had been dosed with chlorinated detergent, poisonous to many of the marine species in the tanks.

”I found a whole load of bubbles coming out of our tanks and gutters and a whole lot of our fish were dead, and many were in the process of dying.”

While immediate attempts were made to move distressed fish to uncontaminated water and centre staff, volunteers and the Fire Service were called in to flush out the tanks with fresh sea water, many marine animals were lost or had to be euthanised.

”We expect over the next two or three days, there will be quite a few more casualties as well.”

The centre’s larger animals, plus the starfish, seahorses, and crabs, mostly survived though others, like the pipe fish, had not.

”We’ve lost fish here that have been with us for 16 years.”

What sort of sadistic bastard poisons the water at a marine centre? The Island Bay Marine Education Centre is a great resource, and I can’t believe anyone would target them deliberately  But if it was a so called prank, it was a nasty sadistic one.

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