Aquaria donated by Pacific Shores Resort Centre in Craig Bay being moved piece by piece to their new home at VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station. The aquaria will be repurposed to expand the field station’s public local marine life displays.

Iconic tanks moved from Pacific Shores to Deep Bay VIU station

Resort says decisions made in the best interest of the creatures

Pacific Shores’ iconic aquarium has moved north and officials are hoping to have it up and running next month.

The 22,700 litre saltwater tank, thought to be the largest privately-owned aquarium in B.C., now belongs to Vancouver Island University’s Deep Bay Field Marine Station.

“We hope to have the free-standing aquaria up and running in time for special events we have planned during the annual Brant Wildlife Festival in March,” said Brian Kingzett, VIU Marine Station manager.

Kingzett said the donated equipment will be “reused” and “repurposed,” in line with the station’s green building principles, for the station’s research and educational programs.

Earlier this month, the glass tank was dismantled at the resort in Craig Bay.

Pacific Shores’ general manager Tanya Ogmundson explains it was a tough decision as the tank was a central part of the resort for

12 years, but the mounting upkeep costs were unmanageable.

“The aging equipment that supported the aquaria required extensive upgrading to ensure that the sea life was maintained in good health,” Ogmundson said. “Due to the significant costs involved in the required upgrades … the continued operation of the aquaria was no longer sustainable.”

She said staff will certainly miss the opportunity to view sea life on a daily basis, but the decision was made in the best interests of the marine creatures.

The sea life, which included different kinds of salmon, rock fish and other West Coast marine animals like anemones, urchins and starfish were caught and held under a Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ (DFO) permit and were therefore released under DFO supervision.

According to Pacific Shores’ Andrea Williamson, the fish, who were released into Craig Bay, “swam in a circle about the size of the tank for a while then swam off.”

But not everybody was released back into the ocean, Wolfie the wolf eel was sent to the Vancouver Aquarium for breeding and is currently in quarantine.

When the tank was first installed, the 3.5 cm-thick acrylic tank had to be lowered into the restaurant in three parts before the roof was finished. Three weeks ago, when the monumental tank was removed, it was cut into many sections of several hundred pounds each.

VIU marine station staff haven’t finalized what kind of sea life will live in the aquarium next.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Parksville man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near city mall

Oceanside RCMP report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

‘100 Oceanside Men Who Give a Damn’ donates $9,500 to hospice society

OHS provides services free of charge to palliative clients and their families

Parksville runner ready to raise funds for charity

Watson to run half-marathon with daughter Lauren

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

Most Read