PHOTOS: Aquarium specimens returned to their natural habitats

Volunteers Chloe Masson (left), McKinley Murphy (middle) and Faye Murphy (right) gather around aquarium staff member Brianna Marcoux to learn how to safely release specimens. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror
Volunteers release aquarium specimen from Fisherman’s Wharf during the Discovery Passage Aquarium’s second release day on Sept. 7, 2019. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror
Aquarium specimens including a sea cucumber and sea star rest in a specialized pail before their release from the pier during the Discovery Passage Aquarium’s second release day on Sept. 7, 2019. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror
Mirjana Ivancic examines an aquarium specimen before releasing it into the water from Fisherman’s Wharf on Sept. 7, 2019. Photo by Marissa Tiel/ Campbell River Mirror
Graham Nicholson, 4, transfers a sea urchin into a specialized bucket so it can be lowered into the water from the Discovery Passage Pier during the Discovery Passage Aquarium’s second release day on Sept. 7, 2019. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror
Discovery Passage Aquarium staffer Brianna Marcoux releases a sea star into the water from Fisherman’s Wharf on Sept. 7, 2019. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror
McKinley Murphy releases a specimen into the water from Fisherman’s Wharf on Sept. 7 during the Discovery Passage Aquarium’s second release day. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror McKinley Murphy releases a specimen into the water from Fisherman’s Wharf on Sept. 7 during the Discovery Passage Aquarium’s second release day. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror
Sisters Katija and Mirjana Ivancic are reflected in the water as they help release aquarium specimens into the water from Fisherman’s Wharf on Sept. 7. Photo by Marissa Tiel/ Campbell River Mirror
Nathan Duifhuis releases a specimen into the water at the beach near the Explorer Lab on Sept. 7, 2019. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror

The animals that called the Discovery Passage Aquarium home for the summer are back in their natural habitats.

The aquarium held its second release day on Saturday and with the help of community members and visitors, returned the animals to the Discovery Passage.

“We bring animals into the aquarium for a little vacation,” Aquarium Manager Ricky Belanger told the Mirror ahead of the first release day on Sept. 2. “They go back out into the ocean and they just resume their natural life cycle if it were to have been paused for the time they were in the aquarium.”

Volunteers gathered at the entrance of the aquarium off Discovery Fishing Pier and transported the critters in their bucket to the pier, the beach or the fishing wharf, where aquarium staff and knowledgeable volunteers helped them to safely release the animals back into the water.

The goal is to put the critters back where they were found, Brianna Marcoux, an educator with the aquarium’s Explorer Lab told the Mirror last week. “So we’re disrupting them as little as possible.”

The aquarium celebrated its eighth anniversary this year.

While the public aquarium is now closed for the season, the Explorer Lab will remain open into the fall for school programs. More information can be found at www.discoverypassageaquarium.ca/explorer-lab.

RELATED:

Discovery Passage Aquarium needs your help on Release Day

Discovery Passage Aquarium celebrates eight years of education and fun

Campbell River aquarium takes stock of sea stars for World Oceans Day


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