Animals at the Aquarium
Species of amphibians in the Aquarium
Species of birds in the Aquarium
Different species of marine fish in the Aquarium
Different species of freshwater fish in the Aquarium
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.
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
Sea otters: fish fillets, squid, crabs, clams
Steller sea lions: herring, squid, capelin
Sea stars: clams, herring
For more information, contact our librarian:
The Vancouver Aquarium will be temporarily closed to the public starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and all programming will be cancelled as a preventative measure to help stop the spread of COVID-19 through our community. Learn more.