Zoological Practices

The Aquarium has captive breeding programs in place for over 50 different species, and we're always trying to increase this number. Our aquarists have been the first to raise several species of jellies outside the wild. They share animals and techniques with colleagues around the world. Whenever possible we prefer to breed animals at the Aquarium rather than collect from the wild.

We help aquariums here and abroad

We collaborate with aquariums and zoos in the United States and overseas. We've established sister aquarium relationships with Tokyo Sea Life Park and Aquamarine Fukushima, both in Japan, and the Acuario de Veracruz in Mexico. We've worked closely with the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center in Central America to create its exhibits of freshwater native fish. We continue to provide annual support.

We also participate in the conservation and science programs of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science and recreation.

We keep exotic species from escaping to the wild

Introducing non-native creatures into local ocean waters can have devastating effects on coastal ecosystems. In the past, even some public aquariums have contributed to the problem. While we exhibit primarily regional species, we do have some exotic species in our temporary exhibits. Today, our seawater outfall system has the highest treatment level at any aquarium, virtually eliminating the possibility that exotic organisms can escape into Monterey Bay.

Egg yolk jelly polyps and strobili
Our aquarists have learned to breed jellies from attached polyps, like these, to free-swimming adults.

Aquarists collecting local fishes to create native aquarium exhibits for the Belize Zoo in Central America
Our aquarists collected local fishes to create native aquarium exhibits for the Belize Zoo in Central America.

Everyday Practices

Conservation is an Everyday Commitment at the Aquarium

We believe it's important to "walk our talk" in the ways we do business every day. While there's no question that an aquarium takes lots of energy to run, we're working on many fronts to reduce our environmental footprint. Some of the conservation strategies we've already got in place include installing motion sensors and more efficient lights in our office spaces, replacing aquatic pumps with energy saving models, and regular power plant upgrades to increase the Aquarium's energy efficiency. We also have a comprehensive recycling program, and encourage our vendors to do the same. More than a third of our full-time employees carpool, walk, telecommute or bike to work and receive incentives like free bus passes and prime parking spots.

In our store, we won't sell dried seahorses, shells or other sea life, and our restaurants have phased out plastic water bottles and paper cups. Additionally, the Aquarium is currently pursuing a Green Business certification with the city of Monterey. We know there's always room for improvement so we'll continue to explore creative ways that we can "go green" at the Aquarium.

The aquarium promotes the use of alternative transportation through vanpools, carpools, ridesharing, public transportation and bicycles.

Alternative transportation at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
The aquarium promotes the use of alternative transportation through vanpools, carpools, ridesharing, public transportation and bicycles.