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South Pacific Aquarium

Temporarily Closed

for restoration and repair

The South Pacific Aquarium is temporarily closed for restoration and repair of critical animal-care structures, habitats and life-support systems. Our goal is to extend the life of this aging, saltwater aquarium for another two decades and care for ocean animals into the future. Read more here.

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 stingrays. Dive in.

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

 

Discover the South Pacific

Find it
in the zoo.
Follow the one-way arrows from the entry plaza down to the top entrance.
Restoring
The Aquarium
The South Pacific Aquarium needs some love. The aquarium is temporarily closed for repair of critical animal-care structures, habitats and life support systems, to reopen in 2023 with exciting new species, upgraded systems and immersive South Pacific-themed art.
RESTORING THE SOUTH PACIFIC AQUARIUM

Aquarium Habitats

Outer Reef - Temporarily Closed
Lagoon- Temporarily 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

RESTORING THE SOUTH PACIFIC AQUARIUM

After 32 hardworking years, the popular South Pacific Aquarium at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium needs some love. On November 15, the aquarium will close for restoration and repair of critical animal-care structures, habitats and life support systems, to reopen in 2023 with exciting new species, upgraded systems and immersive South Pacific-themed art. “This is … Continued

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One Fish, Two Fish…

What better way to go back-to-school than at an aquarium? Here at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, we have two huge aquariums to choose from, with schools of fish to make any Dr. Seuss fan happy! Here’s our version of the familiar classic. Read, then come and meet all the characters in real life, at … Continued

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And her name is…Gertie!

After a week of public voting, fans chose Gertie as the name for the new giant Pacific octopus in the Pacific Seas Aquarium at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The name was one of six names chosen by aquarists. Over 7,100 votes came in online during the week, and the race was close. Gertie topped … Continued

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Our other aquarium!
Looking for more ocean animals? Come visit green sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, spotted eagle rays and more in our Pacific Seas Aquarium!