The new underwater world of the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre is located in the charming seaside town of Sidney. It is housed in a spectacular building overlooking the Salish Sea. The Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre serves as both an aquarium and a marine education centre focusing on the amazing ecosystem of the Salish Sea.
As I walked into the building’s lobby, I felt as though I was descending to the depths of the ocean. I enjoyed the incredible special effects as I journeyed undersea in the ‘elevator’ and was greeted by displays of algae and jellyfish in their backlit habitats. I explored marine life from the sea floor to the seashore through the seventeen habitat tanks.
The main attraction for me was the Giant Pacific Octopus. I had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and feed this fascinating gooey creature with its many tentacles. I was surprised to see how little he eats for his giant size; he typically eats just 5 herrings during a feed, and feeds only once a day. I placed the herring under water and he came up slowly and gently suctioned the fish from my hand. Apparently, these octopuses are one of the most intelligent sea creatures in the planet. They are known to be able to open jars with their tentacles.
At the centre, I also saw sea stars, sea anemones, jellyfish and wolf eels in incredible display tanks. I was able to touch and feel other specimens when I visited the touch tank. It was filled with marine life including star fish, rockfish and sea cucumbers. This centre is interactive with plenty of attendants to answer any questions visitors may have about the facility or the marine life.
The Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre’s primary objective is to conserve marine life. The center inspires visitors to make a promise to the ocean before they leave, to ‘Take Action’. My promise was to minimize my impact on the environment by using eco-friendly products.
They say that every choice we make, from what we consume to what we wear, affects life around us. With new technologies and 21st century knowledge, why does it seem as if we remain in the dark ages in regards to the impact human beings have on our world? Our planet is increasingly stressed and is becoming stretched to its limits. So what can we do? Knowledge is power. And with power comes great responsibility. We can start by making personal changes. There is a great website I would like to recommend that offers 100 practical ways to make a difference:
9811 Seaport Place
Sidney, British Columbia
Phone: 1 (250) 665-7511