A child watches one of the many awe-inspiring ragged tooth sharks on display. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA Pictures

Cape Town - Exactly 22 years ago to the day on Monday, the Two Oceans Aquarium opened its doors to the public. 

From its humble beginnings, today the aquarium is home to a wide variety of species from around the world. 

The clownfish tank is a favourite with children. Picture: Tracey Adams/ANA Pictures

Situated at the V&A Waterfront, it is one of the top tourist attractions in Cape Town. 

The Two Oceans Aquarium's humble beginnings. Picture: Supplied

Consisting of seven galleries with massive windows for visitors to be able to witness life under the sea, the aquarium is home to more than 3 000 living sea animals, including sharks, fish, turtles and penguins.

Picture: Jeffrey Abrahams/ANA Pictures

However, at the centre of the aquarium's existence is its role as a key player in raising environmental awareness through its exhibits, conservation, and education programmes.

Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA Pictures

It has gained recognition as a leading environmental education centre in South Africa. 

Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA Pictures

It is also globally respected for its excellent standards of animal agriculture and the skill of its staff in collecting and transporting live animals.

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Cape Argus