Opened on June 15, 1956, the Vancouver Aquarium welcomed 342,870 people in its first year—nearly the entire population of Vancouver at that time. To date, more than 35 million people have visited.
The Aquarium is home to more than 50,000 sea creatures. It is the largest in Canada and one of the five largest in North America. It was the first facility to incorporate professional naturalists/interpretive specialists into galleries to explain animal behaviors.
Since 1956, researchers have been studying habitats and animals. Today, scientists are involved in wild killer whale research, rockfish conservation and Steller sea lion preservation; as well as Northern fur seal population decline studies and breeding programs for various local species of fish. The Aquarium’s lab holds the record for rearing more marine fish than any other lab in the world.
The Aquarium rescues abandoned mammals and rehabilitates them for release back into their natural habitat, tracks the movements of marine animals with acoustic transmitters, and is home to Ocean Wise, a nationwide conservation program created to educate consumers about sustainable seafood.
It builds awareness and understanding of the Arctic through Arctic Connections: a suite of partnership-based research, public programs and initiatives that seek solutions through greater understanding, dialogue and engagement.
Educational opportunities are endless, from summer AquaCamps and school visits to sleepovers.
The Aquarium is in the process of expanding its facilities—the largest and most extensive revitalization it has ever undertaken.