From Horseshoe Crabs To Halibut, How One Man Helps Keep 33000 Aquarium Animals Healthy

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On the deterioration of the oceans

“It’s looking a little bit depressing across the board in some capacities. We know that a lot of species are declining in numbers across the world, sea turtles are a good example, the whales are a good example. And we know that the oceans are full of fishing gear and pollution, and that the chemistry of the ocean is changing from climate change, and all of these things are influencing the species that evolved in the oceans for millennia, and just within a few hundred years of the human population boom, we’re really damaging a lot of these species. … Sea turtles, there’s seven species, they’re all considered endangered at this point, and they’re affected by things like being entangled in fishing gear, accidentally being captured by fishing gear, and a lot of their coastal habitat where they lay their eggs has been developed as luxury resorts for humans.”

Innis performing a procedure on a 45-pound halibut. (Peter O’Dowd/Here Now)

On his role as a conservationist

“All of us here feel like we have a conservation and education job, and that’s the reason many of us come to work here. So we’re not just taking care of pet animals, but we recognize that we, as animal care providers, can’t solve all of those problems, and we recognize that we need attorneys and politicians and conservation biologists to help us in that mission.”

On whether animals fare better in the wild versus captivity

“I can’t just give a yes or no answer to that. There are animals that live here that live in smaller spaces than they would if they were out in the wild, but many of the animals that live here were born in captivity and would not survive in the wild. We’ve made choices here. For example, we don’t exhibit dolphins here anymore, and that was a conscious choice based on the resources that we felt we could provide to them. There are things that live here that, it’s appropriate for them to be here. That’s not true, probably, of every zoo and aquarium in the world.”

(Peter O’Dowd/Here Now)