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SEASIDE AQUARIUM

FEED THE SEALS





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About the Seaside Aquarium


When the aquarium was founded in 1937, the goal was mostly to entertain the public. The dark interior was meant to create the feeling of swimming through an ocean cave at a time when respiration-aided diving was virtually unknown.

In the past several years, the focus has shifted to include education and community involvement as well as entertainment. We have reached beyond the walls of the actual building to participate in local events and projects geared toward a better understanding and appreciation of the North Coast marine environment.

In 1995, we became leaders in the regional Marine Mammal Stranding Network. In the next few years we added an Interpretive Center and helped start Seaside’s Watershed Estuary Beach Discovery Program. We have partnered with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and the City of Seaside to inform both visitors and local communities about beach safety, tides, different coastal habitats, and the animals who live there.

Kids at the Touch Tank


shark on the beach

Aquarium, Local Students Participate in Ongoing Research

Three summers ago when a number of salmon sharks washed up on local beaches, Seaside Aquarium staff collected and froze them to provide to local science educators for dissections. Two researchers, one from Stanford University, and one from the Alaska Fish and Wildlife Service, learned about these sharks and contacted the Aquarium, requesting samples to help further their studies on salmon sharks. When school resumed, the Marine Biology class at Astoria High School dissected the sharks, taking measurements and samples that were sent to the researchers.

For the past three years, the Aquarium has collected the animals and frozen them for future dissections, the AHS Marine Biology class has taken samples, and the Aquarium has sent these samples to researchers. Students measure shark dissection
length and girth of the animals and take vertebrae, liver, kidney, red and white muscle tissue samples. The vertebrae are sent to Alaska, where a researcher is studying why the salmon sharks who are washing shark dissection
up all appear to be approximately the same age and size. He thinks they have died of encephalitis and wants to know more about how the encephalitis works in the sharks’ bodies. The organ and tissue samples are sent to Stanford where a researcher is studying how salmon sharks are able to raise their body temperatures above the temperature of the surrounding water. Although all sharks are able to do this, salmon sharks can raise their temperatures high enough that they can live as far north as the Bering Sea. This year AHS students worked in groups of two and three to dissect six animals for study.


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Stay connected:

  Twitter @FeedTheSeals Facebook @SeasideAquarium
Seaside Aquarium, 200 North Prom, Seaside, Oregon 97138 Tel: (503) 738-6211.