ACCREDITATION STANDARDS Both of the Ripley’s Aquariums located in the United States are fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Accreditation Commission evaluates every zoo or aquarium to make sure it meets AZA’s standards for animal management and care, including living environments, social groupings, health, and nutrition.
AQUARIUM BREEDING PROGRAM
Where possible, we make every attempt to breed animals in captivity to offset the need to collect animals from the ocean.
Our aquariums have successfully bred and continue to breed animal species such as Cownose Rays, Southern Stingrays, Seahorses, Clownfish, Cardinal Tetras, Neon Gobies, Cuttlefish, Horseshoe Crabs, Jellies, Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks, corals of many species and many others.
We also cooperate with other aquariums that also have captive breeding programs and exchange animals when needed.
Our animal husbandry staff (marine biologists or aquarists) also cultures our own live foods for some of our smaller animals. These live foods include single-cell algae, brine shrimp, rotifers and mysis shrimp.
Our aquarists have learned to breed jellies from attached polyps to free-swimming adults.
OBTAINING NEW SPECIMENS
Occasionally we must obtain animals from the ocean and when we do, our husbandry staff does this directly in order to ensure that the animals are handled with the best care possible from their habitat to ours.
Our aquarists use SCUBA gear to dive underwater to collect select species of Caribbean reef fishes, and they collect all of the large sand tiger and sandbar sharks and many of the rays in our exhibits using a specialized hook-and-line technique.
The other group of reef fishes we display originate from the Indo-Pacific region, and these fishes are obtained from commercial suppliers who are certified to collect these in a sustainable manner without the use of chemicals, or they are obtained as captively bred.