Behind the Scenes at the New York Aquarium

The New York Aquarium is the oldest continually operating aquarium in America. Established in 1896, it is located on the Riegelmann Boardwalk in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City. It was first in Castle Garden in Manhattan and relocated to Coney Island in 1957. The water for its aquarium exhibitions is taken directly from the sea.

In 2018, the New York Aquarium built a new enclosure called “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” that took ten years to construct. The delay was caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 which flooded the facility.

Stephanie Joseph and Ethan Angelica of the New York Aquarium hosted a behind the scenes information session about the “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” exhibit during a live streaming event on 23 September 2021. The exhibit has over 100 species of marine life, such as fish, sea turtles, rays, and 18 different kinds of sharks.

Ethan presented information on the species of sharks in the New York Aquarium as Stephanie guided the camera around the facility. Noticeable were the Blacktip Reef Shark, Sand Tiger Shark, Sandbar Shark, Nurse Shark, Grey Bamboo Shark, and White-Spotted Bamboo Shark. The Wobbegong Shark made a small appearance, showing its shaggy beard. There was also Ethan’s favourite, the newly added, beautiful Epaulette Shark, and Stephanie’s favourite leucistic Zebra Shark, which lacks its usual colour and appears pale pinky-white.  

One of the exhibits shows sharks from the Hudson Canyon’s Edge in the local waters of New York. The Hudson Canyon begins at the mouth of the Hudson River and extends for over 640 kilometres (400 miles) to the sea, across the continental shelf and down to the depths of the ocean basin. The depth is about three to four kilometres (about two miles) below sea level. 

Location of photographs: New York Aquarium, America (via live broadcast)

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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