#11: Our Reef Residents - Receiving The Bahamas Collecting Expedition Fishes

Our fall Bahamas collecting expedition just wrapped up this week. One of the most challenging aspects of these expeditions is to get the fishes and invertebrates to Boston alive. After many hours of "packaging" them up, they were loaded into the cargo bay of a plane and flown north.

A little over 3 hours after taking off from Miami, they touched down at Boston Logan airport. It was then our job to get them unloaded, unboxed, unbagged, and into their holding tanks with cleaner water as soon as possible.

With over 300 animals coming to the Aquarium, and haste being a necessity, we formed a good-sized team of Aquarium staff, volunteers, interns and co-ops to perform this task. After a group briefing-slash-pizza party, it's off to the airport to go pick them up.

Once back at the Aquarium loading dock, all 46 insulated shipping boxes were removed from the truck and taken to the identification table, where experts Barbara and Sarah, 2 of the 3 expedition leaders, ID'd the animals and passed them off to "runners" to take them to their appropriate gallery and tank.

Because the water they live in during the flight deteriorates rapidly, tank water was slowly added to their bag while floating at the top to reduce the shock of the new fresher cleaner water. Once acclimated, they were released, counted, and marked on the tank glass to keep our census records accurate.

Most survived the ordeal, and are currently going through quarantine before they make their way to one of our exhibits, including the G.O.T. Welcome to the New England Aquarium new residents!



  1. So you get to handle amazing fish ... and eat pizza?

    Wow. sign me up.

  2. How many of them die or get sick during transport?


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