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South Pacific Aquarium

Now Open

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.)

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
We want to keep everyone safe and healthy in our aquariums!
  • Masks required indoors for ALL guests age 5+ in compliance with state health guidelines.
  • Keep that 6-ft social distance!
  • Please don't touch the windows.
  • Keep your stroller with you.
  • Learn more

    Aquarium Habitats

    Outer Reef
    Lagoon
    Stingray Cove
    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

    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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    Jellyfishing

    On an overcast morning, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s jelly team readies their boat and heads out into Puget Sound to a cove between Vashon and Maury Islands. The goal: collecting moon jellies. Moon jellies are plentiful in the waters around the Pacific Northwest and the jelly team will try to collect up to 100 … 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!