The Oregon Coast Aquarium will provide a home for a variety of marine life from Oregon Undersea Gardens, which permanently closed on October 11. Among the transitioning aquatic species are two green sturgeon, a species listed as Threatened on the Endangered Species Act. Staff at the Oregon Coast Aquarium are stabilizing and monitoring the sturgeon in quarantine to evaluate if they would be able to thrive in the wild, as they have been under human care for nearly fifty years. Until then, guests will be able to see the sturgeon in the Aquarium’s Halibut Flats exhibit. They will join four white sturgeon.
The Oregon Coast Aquarium has also accepted six spiny dogsharks and a grass rockfish for care. The Aquarium worked with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to assess the health of other animals, including rockfish and perch, and to release those that were deemed fit for release. “We feel very fortunate to live in a community committed to the protection and preservation of our oceans and the life within,” said David Heater, Owner of Oregon Undersea Gardens.
“It was a wonderful experience working with professionals from the Oregon Coast Aquarium as well as ODFW and Oregon State University to assure the proper treatment and correct handling of our fish. Their guidance and assistance assured this sensitive event was handled with the utmost respect for the species.” The animals transferred from Oregon Undersea Gardens will be on display at the Oregon Coast Aquarium after a thirty-day quarantine period, likely around next week. People interested in seeing the green sturgeon and spiny dogshark even closer can check out the Oregon Coast Aquarium Guest Dive Program.
“The Oregon Coast Aquarium is happy to help where we can. We don’t want to leave animals without a home, and those that we deemed healthy enough were released,” said Jim Burke, Director of Animal Husbandry at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. “We like to work collaboratively within our small town and were happy to help Undersea Gardens. The Aquarium will always do what we can to take care of the animals first and foremost.”
The Oregon Coast Aquarium creates unique and engaging experiences that connect you to the Oregon Coast and inspire ocean conservation. Visit us at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR. www.aquarium.org, 541-867-3474.