The 114,000-litre aquarium that has become an iconic feature of YVR’s International Terminal welcomed some new residents recently: a pair of wolf eels relocated from the shores off of Popham Island in the Straight of Georgia.
The eels are part of a study on reproduction being conducted by the Vancouver Aquarium, which monitors and maintains the airport’s two International terminal aquarium exhibits. It is hoped that YVR’s resident eels – which are mating –will lay an egg mass in their airport aquarium.
Known for the juxtaposition of a fierce appearance yet friendly personalities, wolf eels aren’t actually eels – they’re fish that are marked by an elongated body and a dorsal fin that extends from their head to the end of their six-to-eight-foot long body. They use their large teeth to feed on crustaceans, sea urchins, mussels, clams and some fish, crushing them with their strong jaws.
The YVR aquarium exhibit – as well as a smaller exhibit featuring Pacific sea nettle jellyfish – was built in 2007 and now houses more than 10,000-plus creatures native to B.C., including several rockfish species, anemones, sea stars, sea cucumbers, greenlings and perch. Many of the Vancouver Aquarium’s research projects –including one focused on the reproduction of rock fish – are expanded to YVR, thanks to the aquariums.
On your next international flight, be sure to check out the aquariums, located at the end of the stream that runs through International departures.