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SEASIDE AQUARIUM

FEED THE SEALS





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Behind the Scenes: Hungry Critters

Feeding all of the animals at the aquarium is one of our most important tasks. Obviously we get some help feeding the seals, but a lot of preparation goes into those little trays of seal food. And have you ever wondered what we feed everyone else? Here’s a brief look at what we do.

Feeding the Seals

The seals eat 19,000 pounds of capelin and 19,000 pounds of herring in a year. We purchase the fish frozen and keep it in a freezer off-site. Twice a year, we load several tons of fish into the freezer. About every ten days, the staff make a run to the big freezer to get fish to fill the smaller freezers at the aquarium.

To prepare the seal food, it first must be thawed. It soaks in the sink overnight and then is carefully rinsed. This is called "working the fish."



The fish is then cut into small pieces and then rinsed thoroughly before it is taken to the front for the public to feed the seals. We prepare around 100 pounds of fish per day.

Every day, the seals also get a regimen of vitamins stuffed in herring. In the winter when we have fewer visitors, we feed extra herring to the seals.


Fish and Invertebrates: Feeding Everyone Else


We collect clams, kelp, and other goodies from the ocean to feed various fish and other animals. Here Keith digs for razor clams.

The fish are fed pieces of cut up fish, clams, krill, or squid. This wolf eel actually eats from our aquarist’s hand. He does this carefully as it has very sharp teeth. Don’t try this at home!!



To feed the anemones, pieces of fish are stuck on the end of a pole one by one and carefully placed against the anemones. In the wild, anemones sting and paralyze fish that swim among their tentacles before capturing and eating them.



 

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Seaside Aquarium, 200 North Prom, Seaside, Oregon 97138 Tel: (503) 738-6211.