Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
March 20, 2011
by Mary Dickinson
November 19, 2005
In tanks, close-up to the audience, volunteers and employees play with dolphins while they explain their habits. They let you pet a live sting ray (the sting has been removed) and have a show with a live loggerhead turtle while many local fish species swim in glass tanks with plaques that explain their habits and where to find them. There are also two river otters that are trained to dance on their hind feet, climb a ladder, and come down again. It's fun to watch as their sleek little bodies glide through the water as they swim.
The North American river otter was brought to the aquarium after they were stranded as pups. Without their mother they couldn’t survive, and once they had been raised in captivity, they won’t be able to survive in the wild. The dolphin show is with animals that have been rescued and are no longer able to survive outside the aquarium. All the creatures in the aquarium have been brought there after being rescued from trouble. The main function of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is to rehabilitate them and release them back into their natural habitat. Their rescues and rehabilitations usually make headlines to the delight of the proud marine biologists involved.
Written information on sea creatures and their habits are available in the gift shop, which also has toys and games for kids. The aquarium is right next to Clearwater Harbor, so it is possible to bring in very large sea creatures and care for them. The aquarium offers a Sea Life Safari and I will include another entry, in this journal, about that.
From journal Vacations on the Gulf Side of Florida
As we left the marina at Clearwater Marine Aquarium and sailed out into Clearwater Harbor on the aquarium’s own boat, the Island Explorer marine biologist, Joe Malo, acquainted us with those facts. He pointed out how important mangroves are to both fish and fowl. Pelicans were nesting in huge masses in the mangrove trees along the waterfront, where the trees are still intact.
In a small plastic fish tank on the boat, Gladys, Joe’s assistant, scooped out two big live sea horses that had been found on a previous trip out. They were the largest ever found in Clearwater Harbor, measuring about 8 inches. The male sea horse was very pregnant, an unusual situation for live creatures. After showing them around the boat, they were dumped back into the water from where they had been found.
Later, a trough net was lowered into the water. After a few minutes, it was hauled in, yielding lots of mud and all the sea creatures living in that area. Joe said the aquarium has special permission to use the net because he was finding out how much sea life is in different parts of the harbor. Trough fishing is against the law because it catches everything in the water. The net collected slugs, crabs, small fish, and many other live specimens. Joe had the three children aboard show the catch around before it was returned to the water.
We stopped on a small deserted island where we went on land and collected sea shells. I got some beautiful and very heavy clam shells with barnacles and other shells attached to them. Joe said he camps on some of the deserted islands off the coast and enjoys being alone with nature. It sounded very adventurous, if you’re a marine biologist. We then started back to the aquarium while Joe talked about all the publicity the sea horses got in the news while they spent a few days on exhibit in the aquarium.
September 29, 2000
From journal Clearwater Beach - not just an ordinary beach