The Aquatic Nursery is a working laboratory where visitors have access to active scientific research, and to the scientists-in-training who are conducting projects under the guidance of CMAs professional staff. Exhibits explain complex, scientific principles and processes for visitors of all ages. Look carefully, exhibits and projects change often and there is always something new to see.
Visit the interpretive exhibits in the Aquatic Nursery as topics focus on growing and caring for young animals. The laboratory is composed of open research benches displaying more than 40 marine species, which focus on four major aquaculture themes:
Aquaculture Kitchen Clear plastic tubes filled with living cultures bubble away in the kitchen. Cultures of rotifers and newly hatched baby brine shrimp provide important live food used in husbandry projects in the Aquatic Nursery.
Growing for Human Food Raising aquatic animals for human food is big business in many countries and a growing industry in the United States. White sea bass, red abalone, mussels, and oysters are cultured in the Aquatic Nursery to show examples of Southern California aquaculture for human consumption.
Aquaculture for Species Survival Raising animals to help threatened and endangered species has become an important mission of zoos and aquariums worldwide. White abalone, Pacific seahorse, and pipefish in the Aquatic Nursery demonstrate the efforts necessary to help preserve these Southern California natives whose populations have become depleted.
Research for Teaching, Sharing, and Science Garibaldi, grunion and black sea nettles raised in the Aquatic Nursery are shared with aquariums, zoos and educational institutions for public exhibition. Raising marine animals in the lab can reduce the demand to collect from the wild to display for public education and research.
Volunteer Projects Throughout the lab, students conduct research projects under the guidance of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium professional staff. Research results displayed in the Aquatic Nursery show the hard work of these future scientists. Visitors see that science can be accessible, understandable and fun.