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Sin City's Shark Reef Aquarium retains accreditation

By Leonard Ho - Posted Apr 11, 2012 07:00 AM
Well, it's official: The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay is still a real aquarium. This week, Shark Reef Aquarium passed its accreditation review by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), thus keeping its distinction of being the only accredited zoological institution in Nevada.
Sin City's Shark Reef Aquarium retains accreditation

The famous Shark Reef tunnel. Photo by D.H. Parks.

Shark Reef Aquarium is located at one of the most unlikely places for an aquarium: in the dry desert of Las Vegas, Nevada.  The facility boost a massive 1,300,000 US gallons (4,900,000 liter) main display and its famous walk-through shark tunnel.  Shark Reef Aquarium was developed in consultation with the Vancouver Aquarium.  The exhibit opened in 2000 and officially changed its name to Shark Reef Aquarium in 2007.

What is AZA accreditation?

A commissioned panel of experts by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) examines each zoo or aquarium that applies for AZA membership in order to determine if their level of care meets AZA standards.  All accredited institutions are also subject to review every five years to maintain membership status. AZA has only accredited 225 zoological institutions (including Shark Reef Aquarium).  Other notable aquariums accredited by AZA include:

  • Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (LA)
  • Georgia Aquarium (GA)
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium (CA)
  • National Aquarium in Baltimore (MD)
  • New England Aquarium (MA)
  • Oregon Coast Aquarium (OR)
  • Steinhart Aquarium (CA)
  • Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre (BC)

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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