Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is a public aquarium located in Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In addition to being one of the primary attraction for visitors to Vancouver, it is a well respected centre for marine research, conservation and marine animal rehabilitation.
The aquarium is run by a self-supporting not-for-profit association. The operation of the aquarium receives no government funding. The property is owned by the City of Vancouver and managed by the City Parks Board.
The Vancouver Aquarium has become the largest in Canada and one of the five largest in North America. The Aquarium is internationally recognized for display and interpretation excellence, and was the first facility to incorporate professional naturalists into the galleries to interpret animal behaviours. Aquarium research projects extend world-wide, and are internationally recognized for marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation.
In 1975, the Vancouver Aquarium was the first aquarium accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA). The Aquarium is also accredited by the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) and in 1987 was designated Canada's Pacific National Aquarium by the Canadian Federal Government.
For many years, the primary attraction for visitors was the orca or killer whale show. After much public pressure from those opposed to keeping whales in captivity, in 1996 the City of Vancouver passed a bylaw prohibiting the Vancouver Aquarium from capturing wild whales and dolphins. In 2001 Bjossa the killer whale left the Vancouver Aquarium, leaving the Beluga whales and single dolphin as the only remaining cetaceans. The Aquarium has since moved to emphasize the educational aspects of the displays rather than the public spectacle of the shows. They have also tried to highlight the research and rehabilitation efforts of the staff.
The aquarium covers approximately 9000 m² (100,000 ft²) and has a total 9.5 million litres (2.5 million gallons) of water in 166 aquatic displays. There are a number of different galleries:
- Pacific Canada Pavilion is the central indoor tank, 260,000L. Highlighting the marine life from the Strait of Georgia.
- Arctic Canada includes the Beluga whales tank.
- The Wild Coast is an outdoor habitat that includes a Pacific White-sided Dolphin, seals, sea lions, and otters.
- Treasures of the BC Coast a series of separate tanks that simulate the various environments with sea life found on the BC coast.
- Tropical Zone has a large display of tropical fish.
- Amazon rainforest a number of large fresh water fish, snakes and other creatures from the Amazon.
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