Based in Portaferry, the aquarium will now close after a private investor pulled out of the project. Mr McCarthy, also the MLA for Strangford, said the move will have a devastating impact on tourism in the area.
Kieran McCarthy said: “This is a shameful decision by the DUP to close one of Northern Ireland’s main tourist attractions.
“The loss of the Exploris centre will deprive Northern Ireland of its only aquarium. It is a valuable educational resource, not just for the Strangford area but the whole region.
“The DUP Tourism Minister has also failed to properly invest and promote the aquarium that has resulted in a potential private investor pulling out. This will have a lasting, devastating impact on Strangford and the whole of Northern Ireland.”