October 4, 2011
In May Aquarium biologists traveled to Seward, Alaska to collect new animals in one of the institution’s largest single acquisition efforts since the Aquarium’s opening. Assistant Curator Steve Blair, Curator Sandy Trautwein, Aquarist Jennifer O’Quin, and Assistant Curator Nate Jaros (pictured above) conducted daily dives in Resurrection Bay, where water temperatures were between 36 and 42 degrees Fahrenheit.
About 20 percent of the animals collected were fish and the remainder invertebrates, including sea pens, sea stars, several crab species, tube worms, anemones, different types of algae, soft corals, and sea cucumbers. Colleagues at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward partnered with the Aquarium of the Pacific biologists, assisting them in planning their collecting trips (permitted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game) and loaning them a boat, diving and collection equipment, and holding tanks.
Animals were carefully packed and shipped by cargo plane to Long Beach, where biologists worked to help them acclimate to the Aquarium’s facilities. The animals are now on display in the Arctic & Antarctic: Our Polar Regions in Peril exhibit and Northern Pacific Gallery.