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Maine State Aquarium (MSA)
Welcome to the Maine State Aquarium!
Located on the water in beautiful West Boothbay Harbor, Maine, the aquarium is operated by the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR). This educational facility was built in 1993 along with the state's new fisheries research station. The interior floor plan, support systems and exhibits were completed in 1995. The main gallery resembles the rocky coast of Maine. A collection of regional fish and invertebrates can be seen hidden within the granite-like cliffs. Interactive displays, including numerous touch tanks, encourage discovery learning.
The aquarium features extraordinary lobsters of all sizes and colors. Our giants (up to 23 lbs!) like to show off their mammoth claws. Colorful marine life, including red sea anemones and purple sunstars, can be seen in the "Downeast" tank. Visitors will be entertained by the behaviors of live northern shrimp and the appearance of bottom-dwelling fish.
The Maine State Aquarium exhibits a variety of sportfish that are of major interest to anglers. At center stage is an 850 gallon tank that is filled with sharks and skates. Experience the thrill of petting a live shark and discover the roughness of a skate's skin.
A special attraction is the 20 foot long elevated touch tank that houses a multitude of invertebrates. Feel the spiny skin of a sea star or sea urchin and get squirted by a sea cucumber or scallop. Watch the moon snail pull in its enormous "gooey" foot and be fascinated by the sea star retracting its stomach.
Disclaimer: The Maine State Aquarium does not, at any time, guarantee that there will be certain species - including sharks - on display. Exhibits are subject to specimen availability and specimen health. If at any time aquarium staff feel that specimen health is in jeopardy - whether by sickness, stress, or guest interaction - they reserve the right to take specimens off display. In the event that staff feel that the health of specimens in our touch tank areas are being compromised from guest interactions, they reserve the right to ask guests to leave the exhibit area for the safety of our specimens.
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