Shark and Ray Days at the Aquarium is July 13 and 14, and we’re kicking it off with a diver show at our Window on Washington Waters exhibit, with much more to follow! Join us for two days to learn about these fascinating inhabitants of our Salish Sea—plus how we all can do our part to help them in the wild. Visit our website for the full schedule!
The north Pacific Ocean is home to many types of sharks and rays, particularly skates, which fall under the family of rays. Some of these local sharks can live more than 80 years, like the Pacific spiny dogfish, which doesn’t reach reproductive maturity until age 19 for males or 35 for females! The big skate is a common skate in our Salish Sea (and one of the largest in the northern Pacific Ocean at up to eight feet long), and it feeds on small creatures like clams, shrimp and worms, as well as on different types of fish. Check out both the Pacific spiny dogfish and baby big skates during your visit to the Aquarium. More Salish Sea occupants range from the longnose skate, which prefers to live along the soft sea floor as deep as 1,415 yards (1,294 meters), to the Pacific electric ray, which is usually found at shallower depths ranging from three to 33 yards (three to 30 meters).
Though they generally live longer, sharks and rays reproduce less often than other fish species, so overfishing can be especially detrimental to them. By taking action together to help conserve our marine environment, we can help prevent the domino effect that occurs in our one world ocean when changes to one species’ habitat or population affects other species. If you’re looking for a place to start, grab your friends and family and come by Shark and Ray Days to learn more about the sharks and skates of Puget Sound. Plus you’ll get opportunities to meet the Aquarium’s otters, seals and octopus!