There has been a loss of a total of DKK 16 million over the past five years, says the aquarium’s CEO.
Sea turtles, electric eels and pirate fish are currently swimming in pools and aquariums in the Blue Planet in Copenhagen, but it is without the stimuli of school children and families of three generations who are staring curiously at them through the thick glass.
Like all other cultural institutions, the aquarium is closed due to the danger of spreading coronavirus infection.
And keeping it closed is expensive, says CEO Jon Diderichsen.
Our challenge is that we have lost 100 percent of our guest revenue since March 12, and we must continue to operate the aquarium.
Money from the state is not enough
Electricity bills, feed for fish and marine animals and wages for the animal caretakers are some of the expenses that the Blue Planet still has, although no visitors redeem admission tickets to the blue universe.
We still have full costs almost all the way around operating the aquarium. Of course, that makes us hard pressed, says Jon Diderichsen.
He admits, of course, that the Blue Planet gets money from some of the government’s support packages for the corona crisis.
Unfortunately, it is only partial reimbursement and compensation for some selected costs, which means that we still have many costs that we have to pay ourselves. We can usually do this ourselves, but in a situation where we have no guests at all and thus no revenue at all, we are severely challenged financially.
Jon Diderichsen hopes the government will help with more money for the private cultural institution, such as The Blue Planet.
We ask for 100 percent of our costs. Or compensation for the missing revenue. It is very accurate what we are missing, he says.
Right now, the Blue Planet is getting about 60 percent of the fixed costs and salary costs, so that’s the last 40 percent missing.
No coins on the coffin floor
In 2018, according to Visit Denmark’s Blue Planet, the Blue Planet was the second most popular among the country’s zoos, aquariums and zoos.
Nevertheless, according to Jon Diderichsen, the large aquarium does not have money on the coffin floor at bad times.
We didn’t make any profit. There has been a loss of a total of DKK 16 million over the past five years. It wasn’t until 2019 that we just got our nose over the crust of water, where we had $ 100,000 in surplus, he says, elaborating:
We want to teach both adults and children about life in the sea. We see this as our most important task. Our job is not to make money and be commercial that way, so it is a special situation now financially.
Jon Diderichsen fears he is looking into the fact that the aquarium’s main season during the summer holidays – where The Blue Planet usually earns 40 percent of sales – is also being financially challenged.