Quinn Sirignano sits on dad Rocky Sirignano’s shoulders, admiring a giant sea star held by mom Serena that is about to be returned to the ocean after a season in the Discovery Passage Aquarium. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror

Quinn Sirignano sits on dad Rocky Sirignano’s shoulders, admiring a giant sea star held by mom Serena that is about to be returned to the ocean after a season in the Discovery Passage Aquarium. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River’s Discovery Passage Aquarium sends sea creatures back to the wild in annual release

Release day marks end of aquarium’s 2022 season

More than 100 families came out to help Campbell River’s Discovery Passage Aquarium release its animals back into the ocean for the winter on Saturday.

The aquarium, located on northern Vancouver Island, is a catch-and-release aquarium, which allows the animals in captivity to continue benefiting the ecosystem throughout the rest of the year.

Each spring, aquarium staff gather animals from as far north as Sayward, and as far south as Courtenay. The animals are on display throughout the summer, and are then released each fall with the help of Campbell River families.

Serena Sirignano carries the large sea star to the pier to be released. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror

Serena Sirignano carries the large sea star to the pier to be released. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror

Ricky Belanger, of the Discovery Passage Aquarium, removes an animal from its holding tank to be placed back in the ocean. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror

Ricky Belanger, of the Discovery Passage Aquarium, removes an animal from its holding tank to be placed back in the ocean. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror

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