Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Aquarium®, an Ocean Wise® initiative, was honoured at Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) Awards this past weekend in Cambridge, O.N. and received two awards in recognition of the Aquarium’s Steller’s Bay exhibit and Arctic cod propagation program.
The Vancouver Aquarium was bestowed the Thomas R. Baines Award for Steller’s Bay, recognizing outstanding achievement by an accredited institutional member in exhibit design, animal husbandry, or education or for other significant contributions to the zoo and aquarium field. Steller’s Bay, an exhibit that spotlights majestic and mysterious Steller sea lions, opened on July 1, 2017. The exhibit brings the Aquarium’s longstanding pinniped research to the forefront allowing visitors to see first hand the critical role the resident Steller sea lions play in conserving their ocean counterparts. Not only can visitors observe the Steller sea lions both above and below the water’s surface, they also watch marine mammal trainers collect valuable metabolic information which contributes to ongoing studies as scientists work to better understand this species.
The Aquarium’s work with Arctic cod earned it the Col. G.D. Dailley Award, recognizing achievement in propagation and management programs in the animal collection of a member zoo or aquarium that contributes to the long-term survival of at-risk animal species or populations. For more than four decades, the Vancouver Aquarium has been deeply committed to Arctic conservation and connecting visitors with Arctic issues. The Vancouver Aquarium’s Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) propagation program initiated in 1990 and reinvigorated in 2012 with the construction of an Arctic lab. This led to successful rearing of this species through larval to juvenile stages, and eventual sexual maturity. As Arctic cod are of vital importance to Arctic food webs, the Aquarium’s propagation program is establishing an understanding of this species at every stage of development and may allow researchers to best predict population and food web consequences as the Arctic changes.
“We are honoured to be recognized by our peers for our Steller’s Bay exhibit and Arctic cod propagation program,” said Dr. John Nightingale, president and CEO of Ocean Wise. “These two CAZA Awards are especially important to us as they recognize how the Vancouver Aquarium is contributing to science-based ocean conservation solutions and connecting visitors to this ongoing research.”
Founded in 1975, CAZA is the leading animal welfare standards-development organization in Canada. Its standards-development process includes expert opinions from researchers, biologists, and academics to ensure the standards reflect the latest in animal-welfare research, organizational management, and public-safety protocols. Through a science-based approach, CAZA’s standards bridge the ethical concerns regarding zoos and aquariums. These standards are currently the only pan-Canadian set of standards mandating zoological facilities in the country.
View the full list of 2018 CAZA Award recipients by visiting caza.ca/awards.
Vancouver Aquarium, an Ocean Wise initiative, is one of the world’s leading accredited aquariums, dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life. vanaqua.org
Ocean Wise is a not-for-profit organization whose vision is a world in which oceans are healthy and flourishing. ocean.org
Editors: Photos are available upon request.
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