NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The New York Aquarium on Coney Island is putting the finishing touches on its new sharks exhibit.
CBS2’s Cindy Hsu got a sneak peek Friday.
It has taken four years to create the nine-gallery exhibit of more than 115 marine species, including sting rays, sea turtles and, of course, lots of different types of sharks. The largest is the sand tiger, stretching 10 feet long and weighing more than 200 pounds.
The sharks were transported by truck from aquariums all over the country. They’re first placed in an isolation pool. After everything checks out, they’re released into a big tank.
Most of the exhibit is filled with marine life you would find in the waters right off New York.
“These striped fish that we see right in front of us, those are sheepshead,” said Jon Forrest Dohlin, director of the aquarium.
Hence the name Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, where you’ll find lots of these fish.
The exhibit also includes an area designed like one of the more than 60 shipwrecks off our coast.
“Without ever having to scuba dive, they can go through a shipwreck and experience that same thing,” Dohlin said.
There are lots of interactive elements the kids will love, like one where you turn a knob to see how a baby shark develops, taking a year to be born.
You can also tap a screen to chose a shark you’d like to get a closer look at. And you can learn about trash, over-fishing and other dangers to the shark population, along with ways to save them.
The exhibit opens on Saturday, June 30. The hope is that it will create a new generation of conservation stewards.