Hirtshals is home to the Nordsøen Oceanarium (North Sea Museum), one of the largest aquariums in Europe. As the name implies it was designed to replicate the North Sea and its environs and contains many different species including: cod, saithe (pollock), turbot, sea bass, spiny dogfish, skates, and ocean sunfish etc.
The aquarium has 4 main sections, the largest of which, the elliptical shaped ‘Centre Tank’, is 22 x 33 metres (72 x 108 ft) and holds 4.5 million litres (1 million Imp gallons – 1.2 US gallons) of seawater, it is the largest in Northern Europe. In total, there are around 2–3000 fish in this tank.
There are twelve ‘Habitat Tanks’ each ranging in size from 4000 to 16000 litres (900 to 3,500 Imp gal – 1,100 to 4,200 US gal). Each of these replicates and presents a different habitat in the North Sea, complete with the sea life of that environment.
In addition there are many ‘Theme Tanks’ for special exhibitions or to display species that cannot be shown in other tanks, for example: shallow water fish, invertebrates, etc.
The last enclosure is the ‘Sealarium’, an outdoor pool for seals common to Danish waters – harbour and grey seals. The pool contains 800,000 litres (176,000 Imp gal - 210,000 US gal) of seawater, which is continually renewed.