The private club Haus des Meeres – Aqua Terra Zoo has been directly responsible for running the Aqua Terra Zoo for 55 years. On 1st January 2013 the non-commercial “Zoo GmbH” overtook the responsibility. The Haus des Meeres Aqua Terra Zoo GmbH was established by the club and then assigned to the non-profit organization Haus des Meeres Privatstiftung.
The Haus des Meeres Betriebs GmbH was incorporated in July 2013, now the constellation is as follows:
The founder of the Haus des Meeres – former Gesellschaft für Meeresbiologie – will now focus on the topic “science and research”. Thus the goal to expand the Haus des Meeres and preserve its facilities permanently is met. The charity was made in favour of the community – there are no people involved. The charity board acts on a purely voluntary basis – as it's common in the club!
While the focus of the Zoo GmbH is on care and breeding of the animals as well as research and knowledge transfer, the Betriebs GmbH manages the facility, is responsible for technical development and maintenance together with the zoo administration, implements all marketing activities, operates the cafes, the shop and the flak tower museum.
The expenses for an average of 53 employees and the entire zoo per day are raised by independent activities!
Thankfully, the company has been supported by the city of Vienna – the Department for Education and extracurricular Youth Care (MA 13) to be exact – in the past. Until 2008, the whole operation was subsidized, from then on only subsidies for projects were granted. In 2010, the subsidy amounted € 85,000 and was part of the financing of the new coral reef basin on the 3rd floor. This corresponded to an amount of 1.57 % of the total annual budget.
Since then, our right to get subsidies has expired as we had too good results. In the past 44 years, we received subsidies equivalent of about 1.6 million euros, which is ca. € 3,000 monthly.
The goal of the non-profit private foundation is to provide visitors an experience as close to nature as possible, full of sensitive biosphere habitats. The Flak tower offers an oasis of nature for over 568,000 visitors per year in the middle of a big city and a rooftop terrace with the most wonderful view of Vienna.
The Charity Board of the non-profit Private Foundation: