Double Top For Sea Life as Dart Stars Hit the Target in Blackpool 31 July 2017 by Visit Blackpool Bullseye! Sharp-eyed staff at SEA LIFE Blackpool are staging their own underwater darts tournament to coincide with the world championships which took place in the resort this weekend. And they’ve even named some of their Archerfish – amazing aquatic creatures which, like the arrow throwers, almost always hit the target – after the giants of the darts world: Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, Michael van Congerwen and Gerwyn Ricefish. For older fans, there’s even Eric Bristlemouth, John ‘Dory’ Lowe and Jokoi Wilson. While their human counterparts will be battling it out on the oche at the Winter Gardens, the Archer fish will be testing out their own target-hitting skills…complete with their own dartboard. Archerfish use their remarkable aim and sharp vision to prey on land-based insects and other small animals. An adult fish almost always hits the target on the first shot, due to their great eyesight and ability to compensate for refraction of light as it passes through air and water when they take aim. Archerfish have been known to squirt water up to 5 metres (16 ft) – that’s twice the length of the oche. But normally they shoot insects up to 1–2 metres (3 ft 3 in–6 ft 7 in), which is about the same distance as their dart-playing counterparts! In darts, the oche – the distance between the front of the board and the throwing line – measures 7ft nine and a quarter inches. The big shots of darts and the natural world are both aiming to draw in the summer crowds to the resort with their sensational exhibitions. Blackpool is playing host to 2017 BetVictor World Matchplay from Saturday, July 22, to Sunday, July 30, which will see the best of the sport pitting their skills against each other. And, at the same time, SEA LIFE Blackpool will be getting into the spirit of the big sporting event with its new display of Archerfish, which hit their target of food by squirting water from their mouths. Experts say the fish spit like humans throw, adjusting the strength of their throws and finely tuning their aim to zero in on their target. The fascinating marine display is being unveiled to coincide with the darts spectacular, which will be watched by audiences around the world. And the popular aquarium is inviting the darts stars and their fans to come along and see these sporting forces of nature close up while they are in town. The world’s top 16 players – headed by reigning champion Michael van Gerwen, 15-time World Matchplay champion Phil and 2007 winner James Wade – are taking part in the tournament. Matthew Titherington, general manager at SEA LIFE Blackpool, said: “Blackpool is playing host to the biggest names in darts and, as we’ve got our own amazing dead-eyed sharpshooters here at the aquarium, we thought it would be a good match. “The Archerfish on show are as precise in their aim as the likes of Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen, and almost always hit the target with their first shot. They really are the darts stars of the natural world. “We’re inviting everyone who’s here for the darts to come along and witness their amazing skills. And, to mark the event, we’ve given the fish the names of some of the biggest stars of the sport.” Archerfish, also known as spinner fish, can be found from India to the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, Sri Lanka and Polynesia. And their sporting prowess isn’t confined to darts. Some studies have compared the calculations the fish make to hit their target to a fielder in baseball or cricket, working out where the ball is going to drop and where they need to be to catch it.