Guests who swim among tropical fish at Discovery Cove in Orlando now have a new connection to the world’s oceans: When they swim in the Grand Reef, or participate in the SeaVenture underwater dive experience, they are surrounded by (and supporting) a conservation research program aiming to protect ocean reefs. Rising Tide Conservation is an initiative that promotes efforts to breed and raise tropical fish in aquaculture facilities rather than collecting them in the wild.

This innovative initiative was started by SeaWorld and now includes universities, professional aquarists, aquaculture facilities and retail pet supply companies as partners. This is a very important cause, as collection of marine tropical fish can cause damage to both the reef and the ecosystem it sustains.

Discovery Cove directly participates in the program by collecting and donating fish eggs that otherwise would not hatch and purchasing fish that have been raised through the program. The eggs that are collected are sent to partner laboratories in the program to be utilized in breeding research.

The Grand Reef at Discovery Cove, which all guests can swim and snorkel in, is now home to hundreds of fish that have been aquacultured through this initiative, and hundreds more that are involved in the research program by providing eggs.

Additionally, new this year, guests who participate in the SeaVenture program also will directly help support Rising Tide Conservation, as the park is donating five percent of every program purchased.

“Rising Tide Conservation is a forward-thinking, innovative program that will have long-term, positive impacts on whole reef-based ecosystems and we are proud of our company’s long-held support of it,” said Discovery Cove Vice President Stewart Clark. “Now guests, too, can see firsthand – and be a part of – the efforts of multiple groups working together to help save reefs.”

PHOTOS: © 2016 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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