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Southern California Aquarium, South Coast Researchers Team Up In Effort To Study Endangered Fish

In a giant tank at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, people are getting an eye to eye look at some giant fish. They are Giant Sea Bass. The endangered fish are the focus of a new research project involving the aquarium and UC Santa Barbara.

Dr. Douglas McCauley is an Associate Professor at UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology. He’s been studying the endangered species. He says they can grow to more than seven feet long, and weigh 500 pounds.

Decades of fishing decimated their population along the California and Mexico coastline, but limits have helped recovery efforts.

Researchers say to help with the recovery process we need more information on the massive, yet mysterious fish. So, UCSB and the Aquarium are teaming up for a project called “Spotting Giant Sea Bass."

They are asking people to upload their pictures of Giant Sea Bass. The fish have distinctive spotting, which researchers say are almost like a bar code on the fish. Using sophisticated scanning technology on photos, the fish can be identified.

Sandy Trautwein is the Vice President of Animal Husbandry for the Aquarium of the Pacific. She says the aquarium brings a unique angle to the project. Not only can people see sea bass without having to put on scuba gear, it’s the only public aquarium where the fish have successful bred. The new sea bass website went online this week.

The website is: