Aquafacts / Our Animals

About AquaFacts

AquaFacts contain information on the Aquarium animals or other Aquarium-related topics. We’ve compiled the most popular questions about our animals. Please email our librarian for other inquiries.

Quick info

58,000

Animals at the Aquarium

34

Species of amphibians in the Aquarium

9

Species of birds in the Aquarium

179

Different species of marine fish in the Aquarium

103

Different species of freshwater fish in the Aquarium

Where do we get the animals?

Aquarium animals come to us from many places and in many different ways. Many animals arrive at the Aquarium as part of an exchange program with other large aquariums, zoos and universities. Most of the tropical fish are flown to the Aquarium from dealers around the world. The Aquarium tries to buy fish from sustainable fisheries and conservation-based associations, and only purchases from dealers who collect fish with nets, and not chemicals or explosives.

Aquarium divers have permits to collect marine invertebrates including octopuses, sea stars, sea anemones and species of fish. Other collectors walk out from the beach with seine nets to gather local invertebrates and fishes. Many animals are also born into our care. Once in the Aquarium, animals normally live for many years.

What do we feed the animals, and where do we get their food?

The animals stay healthy because we feed them a wide variety of nourishing food. Most of their food is purchased from local fishers and food suppliers. Some is even bought at regular grocery stores! A few examples of what we feed our animals are listed below.

Barnacles: fish, seaweed, brine shrimp
Octopuses: crabs, herring
Fishes: brine shrimp, plankton, fresh lettuce, chopped smelt, cod fillets, herring
Sharks: mackerel, smelt, herring and squid
Lizards: fruit, vegetables, meal worms, crickets
Seals: herring
Sea otters: fish fillets, squid, crabs, clams
Steller sea lions: herring, squid, capelin
Sea stars: clams, herring

For more information, contact our librarian:

Phone: 604-659-3404
Email: library@ocean.org