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South Pacific Aquarium

Temporarily closed

To keep everyone safe.

Massive sharks. A blue hole with divers’-eye-view. Cage dives. A tropical lagoon, a stingray cove. The South Pacific Aquarium is an oasis of warm-water marine beauty, with vibrant fish, inspiring sharks and touchable stingrays. Dive in.

(NOTE: We also have a Pacific Seas Aquarium, home to turtles and eagle rays.)

NOTE: Both aquariums are temporarily closed due to current Covid-19 restrictions. Eye-to-Eye Shark Dives continue with new safety protocols.

Discover the South Pacific

Find it
in the zoo.
Follow the one-way arrows from the entry plaza down to the top entrance.
Dive with sharks
Our Eye-to-Eye dives are open.
Want to dive with our massive sharks? Our Eye-To-Eye Shark Dives are open with new safety protocols. Stay cozy in a dry suit and float in a cage inside their watery world...
Shark Dives
Safe aquariums
For when we open.
We want to keep everyone safe and healthy in our aquariums! When we open:
  • Everyone over 5 needs a face covering.
  • Follow the one-way arrows.
  • Keep that 6-ft social distance!
  • Please don't touch the windows.
  • Keep your stroller with you.
  • Learn more

    Aquarium Habitats

    Outer Reef - closed
    Lagoon - closed
    Stingray Cove - TEMPORARILY CLOSED
    Feeding sharks
    (Carefully.)
    Feeding time in the Outer Reef is a complex dance. Above the surface are half-a-dozen aquarists, each with a different kind of feeding pole and fish.
    The cheeky crevalle jack are distracted while the nurse sharks get just the right amount. Finally, everyone’s happy.
    Cleaning
    underwater.
    How do you clean a shark tank? You get trained divers on your team and set them to work.
    While one diver watches the sharks around them, the other scrubs windows and rockwork. And aquarium visitors get to watch it all!
    Science
    behind the scenes
    Behind the scenes at the South Pacific Aquarium is a complex network of pipes, filters, temporary habitats and more.
    Water is pumped up from Puget Sound, filtered and warmed, then treated again after it leaves the aquarium so it’s clean for the local environment.

    Protecting The Ocean

    It takes everyone.

    THE THREAT: Ocean animals are in danger – from humans. Our plastic chokes and starves them. Our oil spills engulf them. Our boats and nets shrink their populations. And our carbon dioxide is warming their world.

    TAKE ACTION: Choose reusable items over single-use plastic. Drive less, recycle more. Pick up pet poop and avoid pesticides. Eat sustainable seafood. And speak up. Together we can protect the ocean.

    Aquarium Stories

    2020 Year in Photos

    What a year this has been! From clouded leopard AI to a new muskox calf, from Zoolights to HeroRATs and everything in between, we’ve captured this year in our best photos of 2020.  

    Read More
    New Animal Experiences Available

    Visit the Zoo before the crowds arrive, feed an unusual hero, groom a goat, dive with sharks or go behind-the-scenes of the Pacific Seas Aquarium. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is expanding its Zoo for You exclusive animal experiences with two new premier adventures. In addition to grooming goats, diving with sharks and a behind-the-scenes … Continued

    Read More
    Rockfish Recompression

    Aquarist John Foster cradled the vermilion rockfish gently in two hands, submersed. Anesthetized, it lay still as veterinarian Dr. Kadie Anderson took a quick documentary photo of its eyes, which bulged to each side. Then Foster lowered the fish – now fully awake – into a water-filled container that looked something like sci-fi author Jules … Continued

    Read More
    Go Deeper
    Looking for a deeper animal connection? Dive into our Eye-to-Eye Shark Dives and float in the same world as our massive sharks!