The re-energized focus on Long Island Sound's story is obvious in the colorfully redesigned main hall, which has been renamed Newman's Own Hall in celebration of a $1.2 million grant from Newman's Own Foundation."
–  The Norwalk Citizen

Exhibits & Animals

Blue Crab Fun Fact

Blue crabs are good swimmers. Their specially adapted pair of back legs are "swimmerets" that help move them effectively through the water.



Your Aquarium Journey
Your Aquarium Journey
The Sound and Beyond
Hokin Family Sound Voyage galleries
Rivers to the Sound
Depths of the Sound
The Ocean Beyond the Sound
Jellyfish Encounter
Sea Turtles

Ocean Beyond the Sound and Seasons of the Sound

Maritime0510 copyPast the swirling fish in the schooling tank you follow another school of shimmering fish through The Race, a visual intrepretation of the place where Long Island Sound meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Moving deeper into the Aquarium, visitors find themselves at Ocean Beyond the Sound, a 110,000-gallon habitat that is home to sand tiger sharks (the largest, at 9 feet), a lemon shark, red drum, black drum, sea bass and other larger schooling fish.

You may encounter divers in the tank who can talk to the crowd through radios incorporated into their underwater breathing apparatus. Or you may find divers outside of the tank with a display of their specialized equipment.

Sharks are generally fed around 10:45 a.m. on Sundays, Tuesday and Thursdays. Check our Today's Events section to see if we have a feeding scheduled during your visit.

Shark Feedings

When it’s meal time for our sharks, don’t expect a feeding frenzy! They do get hungry, but they don’t turn into mindless killing machines.

What to look for. Get up close to the glass and look UP! You can see the pole-feedings primarily on the right hand side of the exhibit from the surface to about mid-way down. Most of our sharks will feed at the top, but there are times when we have to pole-feed about mid-way down in the water to get to a certain shark.

How does pole feeding work? Pole feeding is when trainers place the food on the end of a feeding stick or pole and direct that food directly to the individual shark want to feed. This allows the trainers to make sure that each shark is eating enough and that it is receiving any additional vitamins and/or medication it may need.

What do sharks eat? Our sharks typically eat herring or mackerel though, from time to time, they may also get salmon or squid.

Why don't the sharks eat the fish in the exhibit? The honest answer is that occassionaly, a shark will eat a fish in its exhibit. Sharks are opportunistic feeders, so given the opportunity to get a meal with little or no effort or energy spent on their part, they will take that opportunity. This can occur when another animal in the tank is weak or distressed or simply when another animal makes a right hand turn when it should have gone left. But a majority of the time, the sharks are well-fed enough to not think about going after the other fish.

How often do the sharks eat? We feed our sharks three times a week. Due to low metabolisms, sand tiger sharks such as ours only require food intake levels of less than 2% to as little a 1% of their body weight per week. 

Open Ocean Cascade Feedings

We general feed the fish in the Open Ocean exhibit around 11 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Check our Today's Events section to see if there is a feeding scheduled during your visit.

What to look for. Cascade feedings are when the animals besides the sharks in the Open Ocean exhibit are fed. Look for bits of food coming down from the top of the tank and fish darting around the exhibit looking for a bite to eat.

What do our fish eat? Our fish on exhibit usually eat cut up or whole capelin and herring.

Do different fish need different food?  The fish in the Open Ocean exhibit are offered a variation between the capelin and herring, but we cut various sizes of the foods to accommodate the different size mouths that the fish have.

How often do these fish need to eat? We feed them several times during the week so the animals living in large communities have plenty of opportunities to eat.

As you continue on your Hokin Family Sound Voyage, you encounter "Seasons of the Sound," a series of four jewel tanks that highlight some of the changes in Long Island Sound's marine population over the course of a single year.

Live Barnacles wave their legs to gather food in the Winter in the Sound tank.
Video is shot through a magnifying glass and we put the hand in at the end
to give some sense of scale.



Table of contents below


Mission: The Maritime Aquarium inspires people of all ages to appreciate and protect
the Long Island Sound ecosystem and the global environment through living exhibits,
marine science, and environmental education.

10 North Water Street  •  Norwalk, CT 06854
Tel: 203-852-0700

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.

© 2016 The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

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