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Georgia Aquarium Blog

Georgia Aquarium provides an entertaining, engaging and educational experience inspiring stewardship in conservation, research and the appreciation for the animal world. Visit us at

Georgia Aquarium
Atlanta, GA

Marineland Dolphin Adventure
St. Augustine, FL

Conservation Field Station
St. Augustine, FL

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Beluga Maris Pregnancy Announcement


October 22, 2014

Georgia Aquarium Announces Beluga Whale Pregnancy

Today we are proud to share with you the exciting news that Maris, our 20-year-beluga whale, is expecting a calf in spring 2015! As with any pregnancy, preparations are being made to make the birthing process as comfortable as possible for Maris to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all of the animals. 

Dr. Greg Bossart, V.M.D., Ph.D., Georgia Aquarium’s chief veterinary officer and senior vice president says: “Maris is in good health, and her calf appears to be developing normally. We are hopeful for a successful birth, especially since Maris demonstrated strong maternal behavior during her first pregnancy. Chances for a successful birth increase with every beluga whale pregnancy. As with all mammals – especially marine mammals – pregnancy is a delicate process not without risk, so we are guardedly optimistic.”

Associate Veterinarian, Alexa McDermott (L) with Animal Care & Training Specialist Katie Lorenz (R) performing an ultrasound on Maris.

Leading up to Maris’ due date, Aquarium teams are preparing Maris and the beluga habitat for the delivery. Throughout Maris’ pregnancy, animal health experts are providing state-of-the-art prenatal care, including regular veterinary exams and frequent ultrasounds to monitor her health and the health of her calf. The beluga habitat will also receive some routine maintenance.

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Supporting Research and Conservation Efforts


October 17, 2014

The Essence of Life
Supporting Georgia Aquarium's Research and Conservation Efforts

Water is the essence of life on earth. Seventy-one percent of our world is covered by water, and it inspires the description of our home as “the blue planet.” Given the centrality of water to human life, and the great diversity of species and habitats our oceans support, there is an urgent need for us to understand and protect these aquatic ecosystems. The well-being of people, animals and the ocean is interdependent. The primary goal of Georgia Aquarium’s ocean research and conservation is to expand the awareness of the vital connection between the oceans’ health and human health.

Over the last three decades, approximately 75% of new emerging infectious diseases have been zoonotic, meaning the diseases have been transmitted from animals to humans. By exploring the connection between health and the environment, this interdisciplinary approach can help protect present and future generations.

Georgia Aquarium is a leader in the One Health movement, a collaborative effort of multiple health science professionals – veterinary medicine, human medicine, environmental, wildlife and public health – to obtain optimal health for people, animals, wildlife, plants and our environment.

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National Seafood Month: 3 Things You Should Know

October 16, 2014

National Seafood Month: 3 Things You Should Know

We are celebrating National Seafood Month this October by highlighting smart seafood choices and sustainable seafood resources. Through programs available here at Georgia Aquarium, we have the opportunity to educate ourselves and our guests to make smart selections in their seafood choices. Below are three things you should know about sustainable seafood and what you can do to make a difference.

1. What is “sustainable seafood?”

With almost 85% of the world’s fisheries fully fished or overfished, it is a growing concern that our oceans cannot keep up with growing demand for seafood.Steamed Mussels by Wolfgang Puck Seafood has grown in popularity because of the nutritious and healthy options across the world, and even though populations of fish and marine life decreases, the demand continues. “Sustainable seafood” represents a healthy relationship between the ocean and seafood consumers. If the population of fish continues to decrease at the current rate, there will not be enough left to support the fishing industry which feeds the growing population. Sustainable seafood is a way to manage seafood populations for future generations. Through a variety of programs, seafood is selected from lower and plentiful species which are able to reproduce quickly to sustain their populations and have a lower impact on the food chain if their populations decrease. Sustainable seafood programs also prevent the world’s fisheries from unsustainable fishing methods. Bycatch, the loss and injury of untargeted animals, and habitat damage is reduced so there is lower interference with animal reproductive cycles and ecosystem balance.

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