Despite a bit of rain, more than 100 people crowded St. Philip's Beach on Saturday to help release the marine life at the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium back into the ocean.

Kids and adults turned out to help the aquarium wrap up its first season.

Melanie Knight, founder and executive director of the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium, said theirs is one of the few catch and release aquariums in the world.

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Melanie Knight says the first season at the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium was a bigger success than she had hoped for. (CBC)

"We really want to remind people that, although the animals are at the aquarium for a short time for their summer home visit, the animals really do live in the oceans and releasing the animals really helps remind us that we really need to take care of the oceans and that that's their home," Knight said.

"And if kids can remember that even though sometimes they can't see through the surface of the ocean, and as the animals even disappear out of their hands and underneath the surface, that we really need to be reminded that there's so much down there."

According to Knight, the aquarium's first year was more successful than they anticipated.

"It was amazing. We had such a fantastic season this year and we couldn't believe it for our first year round — we didn't know how it was going to go. We created it as a pilot to test and we had an amazing season," she said.

"We had the goal of seeing 15,000 visitors come through in the first year, and we saw over 17,000, so that was really great. We were totally booked for school programs and lots of camps and clubs came through, as well, so we were thrilled."

Knight said the aquarium will close for the winter season, but is set to re-open on World Oceans Day on June 18, 2014.