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Why Are Aquariums Built?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Zooplantman, 30 Dec 2014.

  1. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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  2. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    I guess different ones are built for different reasons. Personally I think they should be built primarily for education and conservation. No harm with using zoos to draw tourists, so long as it doesn't compromise animal welfare or anything like that. (though I'm a bit skeptical at the video attributing the opening of 150 new businesses with an aquarium) If I were trying to get a zoo or aquarium or other such facility built, I'd definitely be using tourism as a selling point.
     
  3. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    In the United States there is a brand-new aquarium built approximately every 7 months (based on the past quarter-century of progress) and that is an astonishing fact. I believe that quite often aquariums are built in downtown cores of major cities, occasionally right on the waterfront, in order to bolster tourism and enhance a metropolitan area. A shiny new aquarium will encourage visitors to dine in the neighbourhood, utilize local shops or even stay the night in a nearby hotel. A boost to the economy!
     
  4. Jackwow

    Jackwow Well-Known Member

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    They are built to exhibit fish, the same reason aviaries are built to exhibit birds and enclosures are built to exhibit mammals.
     
  5. Bib Fortuna

    Bib Fortuna Well-Known Member

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    Agree fully.Aquariusm are defenitely build for the same reasons zoos are build for.Aquariums and conservation ?-good joke in the sight of millions of coral fishes are caught every years for the aquariums.They are miles away from conservation...as far as zoos do either.
     
  6. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    1. EVERY 7 MONTHS?!?!?!?! So there are 42 new aquariums in the USA since 1989? Where are they?

    2. Boost to economy? That is the promise yet I wonder whether they really succeed at that.
     
  7. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Surely you jest Zooplantman. :) I do not even work in the industry and I have a list of at least 35-40 new aquariums that have been built just in the United States since 1990. I'll post the list later but first I'm going to see if I can find any more additions to enhance the numbers. The quantity of brand new aquariums in America in the past quarter-century is staggering and you'll be shocked to see the list when I post it.

    By the way, I agree with your second point.
     
  8. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    No, really, I'd like to see!
     
  9. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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    There have been several major new aquariums in California since 1990 as a mini-indicator of their expansion over the last few decades:
    1. Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco
    2. Birch Aquarium at UC San Diego
    3. Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach
    4. Completely new version of the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco
    5. SeaLife Aquarium at Legoland in Carlsbad

    There was some background work done to launch a major freshwater aquarium in Sacramento along the river, but it never took off.

    There is a current effort to build an aquarium in Fresno, but it has been in the works for a decade, so unclear if it will be built.

    In terms of the economic benefits, the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach has certainly helped the development of that area. After a shaky economic start the aquarium seems to be doing really well. Before this the Los Angeles area did not have a major aquarium (it had a Sea World type theme park called Marineland that closed in the early 1980s).
     
  10. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I have almost finished my master list of an absolutely whopping 65 new aquariums that have been built in the United States between 1990 and 2015. That is a new facility every 4-5 months. Wow. There are a lot of small ones that wouldn't take long to tour, as well as a few that some might quibble are not typical aquariums in the true sense of the word...but to have such an astonishing number to have been constructed is more than probably any of us would have imagined.
     
  11. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'll post the list at some point tomorrow as I want to tinker with it and make sure that everything is reasonably accurate. I will say that just in the past few years the infamous Covino brothers have opened 3 facilities (Boise, Portland and Austin) and there are soon to be 8 Sea Life establishments in the United States.

    The overall total of a quarter-century of time (1990-2015) does indeed produce 65 new aquariums just in the United States. I have a document (that I've toiled over during the past few months) that has close to 700 American zoos listed, with approximately 120 of those being aquariums. It is interesting to note how many of those aquariums are relatively young in age.
     
  12. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Wild!

    I think economic benefits may be in direct proportion to the size and quality of the facility. Those quickie renovated factories into Aquariums will not transform a neighborhood's future the way a Tennessee Aquarium would.
     
  13. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much. AquaJax has some pretty high hopes. They could perhaps live up to their expectations if the aquarium is a big, world-class one like they plan. But any small zoo or aquarium isn't going to be a big attraction, especially in a moderate to large sized city.
     
  14. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    The Covinos have actually have a fourth facility: San Antonio. It only opened up a few weeks ago. My hopes for quality were dashed when I heard about their past projects, but I'm tempted to go to it to review.
     
  15. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  16. ZooLover4Life

    ZooLover4Life Well-Known Member

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    Who care about "education"(conservationist brain washing). I could careless about that nonsense.

    They should be built for people's enjoyment. Period.

    I always find is strange we talk about animal welfare when talking about a zoo/aquarium, yet we have slaughterhouse's that are the definition of torture and extreme animal cruelty. Very strange indeed. That being said, of course the animals should be well taken care of.
     
  17. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    Are you serious?
    Education is a primary role (or should be) of zoos and aquariums. I'm sure you've heard that the future of the planet is in young people etc, etc so I would have thought that the beneficial role of zoos and aquariums (as well as conservation) is in allowing the general public to see wildlife and want to preserve it. Aquariums and zoos can instill a love and appreciation for nature and animals in people who can't see them in their natural habitats and make people who would otherwise never get the chance to see and learn about nature want to protect it. As far as I am concerned this is vital for the future of the planet. So going back to the original point, education from zoos and aquariums is vital for preserving nature and if you don't think that nature needs to be preserved then zoos haven't educated you enough.

    Note: Entertainment is also a purpose and otherwise people wouldn't visit zoos and aquariums which is what pays for them but education should be done side by side with entertainment, as should conservation. I completely disagree that entertainment is the *only* purpose of zoos and aquariums but it is a part.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jan 2015
  18. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    Education tends to be the justification for aquariums to be built. Entertainment tends to be the reason.

    Let us not fool ourselves.
     
  19. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    How about a combination of the two? Lots of people go to museums for fun. They enjoy looking at dinosaur bones and planetary models, but they're still learning. Shoot, zoos and aquariums are basically glorified museums. People who are there just for fun are still learning, and having fun learning. If you just stuck a bunch of animals in cages in a row, people wouldn't have fun with that.
     
  20. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    Most major natural history museums are philanthropic or public institutions. Most (certainly not all) aquariums are for profit businesses. That's an important difference.

    I didn't say that people don't learn at aquariums. I just suggested that that's not the reason they're built.