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South Pacific Aquarium

Dive In

Fifteen 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 new Pacific Seas Aquarium, home to turtles and eagle rays.)

Discover the South Pacific

Keeper Chats
And feeds.
At 11 a.m. almost every day, someone’s getting fed in this aquarium! Watch sharks get wild, see tropical fish whirl and stingrays flutter.
See daily schedule
Find it
in the zoo.
Just downhill and to the right from the central plaza, the South Pacific Aquarium has two entrances: Upper (near Asia Forest Sanctuary) and lower (near budgies). No strollers, please.
Plan your day

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

Closed but Still Caring

We may be closed due to recent restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), but our keepers and veterinary team are still at the zoo every day caring for our animals. From enrichments to treats, check-ups to scratch-downs, here’s how we’re #closedbutstillcaring. Click on any image to start the slideshow. Mouse over to see … Continued

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When the Nurse (Shark) meets the Vet

NOTE: This exam took place before recent social distancing recommendations were mandated. “Everyone ready?” Seven heads nodded, seven pairs of feet braced in neoprene boots, and four pairs of thickly-gloved hands readied a wide, webbed stretcher. The aquarist team had gathered in the South Pacific Aquarium isolation pool at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, with … Continued

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Jelly Babies

On the visitor side, the jellyfish gallery in the Pacific Seas Aquarium is a serene blue world of floating, pulsing forms. From eggcup to dinner-plate size, they hover in a kind of translucent eternity. Behind a nearby door, however, is another world; a world of bubbling tanks, petri dishes and complicated piping. This is the … Continued

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Dive with Sharks
Get a truly sharks’-eye view of our aquarium with the Eye-to-Eye Shark Dive. Immerse yourself in the world of our sharks – graceful, majestic. It'll change the way you see these breathtakingly beautiful predators.