Season 2

SHAW OCEAN DISCOVERY CENTRE

Sidney, British Columbia

by Susie Lee

SHAW OCEAN DISCOVERY CENTRE

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 FUTURE IS OURS

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.

FINAL THOUGHTS

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:
marinebio.org/Oceans/Conservation/local.asp

THOUGHT PROVOKING FACTS

  • An estimated 50-80 % of all life on earth is found in the ocean.
  • It is estimated that air pollution contributes 33% of toxic contaminates into our oceans.
  • Every year, three times as much garbage is dumped into the world's ocean as the weight of fish caught.
  • One of the biggest pollutants of our ocean is refined oil, not just from oil spills but from leaking automobiles.
  • Fish is the greatest percentage of the world's protein consumed by humans.
  • The Swordfish and the Marlin are the fastest fish in the ocean, reaching speeds up to 121 km in quick bursts.
  • Currently, the largest animal in the world is the Blue Whale which has a heart the size of a Volkswagen car.
References: marinebio.org
Video recommendation: Planet Earth

ADVENTURE TIPS IN MAKING AN IMPACT IN OUR OCEAN

  • Be positive
  • Focus on what you are able to do
  • Take personal responsibility for your actions
  • Consider the consequences of your choices
  • Lead by example
  • One person can make a difference no matter how small
  • We, as consumers, drive product demand, so buy carefully

PHOTO GALLERY

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre

9811 Seaport Place
Sidney, British Columbia
Phone: 1 (250) 665-7511
www.oceandiscovery.ca

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Episode 4 Guide:
Victoria

Click on any image below to visit and watch the video segment
Downtown Victoria
Downtown Victoria
Victoria Whale Watching
Victoria Whale Watching
Victoria Butterfly Gardens
Victoria Butterfly Gardens
Victoria Butchart Garden
Victoria Butchart Garden
Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre
Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre
Victoria Hang Gliding
Victoria Hang Gliding

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