Last year, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre celebrated a number of firsts. In July of 2014, our Marine Mammal Rescue team was called to rescue a stranded false killer whale calf near Tofino on Vancouver Island. Stranded cetaceans have a low rate of survival, but after many months of expert treatment and rehabilitation, “Chester” beat the odds and today continues to grow bigger and stronger at the Aquarium.
In 2014 the Aquarium, as part a global effort with Amphibian Ark, successfully bred the critically endangered Panamanian golden frogs. We also bred endangered North American frogs – the Oregon spotted frog and the northern spotted leopard frog – neither of which had been raised in human care by an aquarium before.
We also had a technological breakthrough last year in our Marine Mammal Research Program. Our senior marine mammal scientist, Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard, used a custom-built hexacopter to photograph 77 threatened Northern Resident killer whales and five Bigg’s (transient) killer whales off the northern coast of Vancouver Island. His team will use the photos to assess the whales’ growth trends and body conditions to direct recovery efforts.
In addition to these “firsts” we also celebrated a number of ongoing achievements in programs that continue to grow bigger and better every year. Over 54,000 Canadians participated in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, in 2014, removing 139,262 kilograms of litter. The Rescue Centre rescued and rehabilitated 164 marine mammals providing 32,000 hours of care. More than 600 Ocean Wise™ partners provided sustainable seafood options to their dining customers across Canada and 103,000 hours were donated by our volunteers to help protect aquatic life at the Aquarium.
In 2014, over one million visitors made their way through the doors at the Vancouver Aquarium, and ultimately helped to conserve aquatic life just by visiting.
A glimpse of some of our other top numbers from 2014 can be seen below. What numbers surprised you the most?
Show your support of aquatic conservation by sharing the 2014 infographic below with your family and friends online. The detailed annual report is available online.