The Shell Museum and Aquarium

The Shell Museum and Aquarium

The Shell Museum and Aquarium - previously The Shirley Building (1902) houses an impressive shell collection as well as an imaginative exhibition about the use of shells by man. Several live species of mollusc are displayed in their natural habitat in the aquarium section. By special arrangement, visitors can also see how the fish are fed. A comprehensive Whale and Dolphin display features some of the regular visitors to our shores.


The Shirley building was erected in 1902 as an additional warehouse for storage and to house a sawmill. A Irishman, Joe Shirley, ran his plumbing business from this building up to 1987, when the building was incorporated into the Museum complex as a shell museum. This structure was erected next to the Post Office Tree as an extension of the Old Mill. Today it houses an imaginative exhibition of a superb shell collection, portraying the use of shells by man. Live animals are displayed in their natural habitat in the aquarium.

The upper-level of the Shell Museum boasts a collection of beautiful shells from all over the world! On this level there is also a “whale and dolphin exhibit”. This Great White Shark was caught by C. van Aswegen & J. Eksteen in 1981. It weighed 476 kg.

On the lower level the “touch tank” and aquarium enables visitors and school groups to actively learn about sea life and the creatures along South Africa’s shoreline. A “man and mollusc” exhibition portrays the history of the use of shells by man.

Back To The Mossel Bay Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex

touch tank and aquarium


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