I’ve always wanted to know what
it’s like to work in a big
aquarium, so I came to the New England in Boston to learn
what it takes to be an
Aquarist. How hard can it be? Hi, I’m Jonathan Bird and
welcome to my world! Founded in 1969, the New
England Aquarium is one of the
most famous public aquaria in the United States, and an icon
of Boston. Over a million
people visit the New England Aquarium every year to see
amazing exhibits and the
world-famous Giant Ocean Tank━a 200,000 gallon tropical coral
reef exhibit. I arrive nice and early to meet
Sherrie Floyd, the senior
aquarist. JONATHAN: Hi Sherrie! SHERRIE: Hey Jonathan! How are
you doing? JONATHAN: Good. How are you? SHERRIE: This is my co-worker
Elisha… JONATHAN: Hi. ELISHA. Hi. JONATHAN: Nice to meet you. SHERRIE: She’s going to be
spending a good portion of the
day with you today. JONATHAN: Oh great! ELISHA. Whip you into shape! JONATHAN: Lucky you. SHERRIE: OK we’re going to be
feeding sharks in the giant
ocean tank today, but before we do that your going have to
earn your dive in the giant
ocean tank. JONATHAN: Uh oh… SHERRIE: We are going to start
by scrubbing the floors. JONATHAN: Ooh. SHERRIE: So come with me! JONATHAN: I can hardly wait. Shhshh!! People work here! Dozens of aquarists work here
and I’m going to find out what
it takes to keep the exhibits running by becoming an aquarist
in training. I must look smart because they
start me right away on an
important job. Being an aquarist is hard work. JONATHAN: Being an aquarist is
hard work! Soon, Sherrie recognizes my
natural talents, and moves me
up to something with much more responsibility. JONATHAN: I’m an aquarist in
training, baby! Right here! But cleaning the drain is
definitely paying my dues. You know when I thought I was
going to be an aquarist today.
I figured I’d be feeding the fish, hanging out with
scientists… learning all
kinds of biology…but I’m
getting goo out of a drain! At last, I have graduated to
something important: food
preparation. All the fish need
something special to eat, and all of that
food has to be prepared in
advance. VOICE: These came in ELISHA: Oh yeah, Smells good
huh? JONATHAN: Fishy! Squid are one of the main items
on the menu, and they have to
be prepared by removing the beaks and then cutting them
into appropriately-sized pieces. JONATHAN: All right buddy
you’re getting de-beaked! Elisha: Flip the tentacles
open.. JONATHAN: OK tentacle man.. Elisha: Pop it like a pimple. JONATHAN: this? ELISHA: Yeah, and pull it out
with your fingers. JONATHAN: Aw..dude!! (Chuckles)
Yuck!! ELISHA: Ugh. You can give it to
me. JONATHAN Oh Thanks. Oh look
some squid goo. ELISHA: Oh yeah. JONATHAN: That’s goo. Oh
delicious. Umm. This would be a
bad time to cut yourself. OK so I have some little squid
rings… ELISHA: Yup. So we then we put
that… JONATHAN: Can we deep fry that? ELISHA: NO! JONATHAN Oh good gracious! ELISHA: So this is large squid. JONATHAN: I’ll say! ELISHA: This is what the sharks
eat. JONATHAN: Ooh yummy. ELISHA: So the beak is much
larger here… Food preparation takes a lot of
time and it has to be done 4
times a day! JONATHAN: Oh Ok ELISHA: Um what else can I show
you? JONATHAN: Ewww! ELISHA: It’s not that… JONATHAN: So far there is
nothing here that I really want
to eat. Elisha: Aw come on! JONATHAN: Except the squid. ELISHA: You’d eat a squid. JONATHAN: No I wouldn’t! ELISHA: You can hold that. Next I learn to burp the air
out of the swim bladder of a
smelt, so it will sink. ELISHA: You want to burp one? JONATHAN: Sure. I’ll burp one. ELISHA: They are very slimy. JONATHAN: Oh a slimy smelt! ELISHA: Push like this. JONATHAN: Like this? ELISHA: Push like…on the
stomach. JONATHAN: Like this? ELISHA: Push from down… JONATHAN: I’m going to aim him
at you when I do this… Then, I remove the roe from
capelin. The eggs are food for
smaller animals in the exhibits and the fish themselves are fed
to larger animals. BOTH: Umm! JONATHAN: Fish eggs! ELISHA: Yeah JONATHAN: And… ELISHA: Do they smell fresh? JONATHAN: They smell very fishy. ELISHA: It’s about a fresh as
you get. Finally, it’s out to the
G.O.T.━the Giant Ocean Tank━to
start feeding some of the fish. I’m surprised to learn
that the fish are hand fed! It’s hard to believe that with
this big tank, we have to
actually sit here and feed specific fish. You can’t just
throw the food in. You have to
actually pick and choose which fish you are feeding. It
seems like a lot of work to me. Oh yeah good job! Finally, Sherrie gives me a
briefing on what to expect in
the GOT and I start suiting up for my dive. Outside, it’s the
middle of winter in Boston,
with temperatures below freezing, but I’m getting ready
to do a tropical dive! I check my camera and it’s off
to the dive site. JONATHAN: And off I go! Down the hallway and through
the double doors. I’m really excited about my
dive, but I can’t help worrying
about what tasks lay ahead of me in my aquarist
training program. JONATHAN: All right it’s moment
of truth. It’s February in
Boston and I’m going diving…with no hood. OK here
Jonathan Bird! I hit the warm water with a
splash while hundreds of people
watch, and head down below the
surface to swim with the fish in this
enormous fish tank. Except for
all the people looking in through the glass, it would be
easy to believe this was a real
Caribbean reef. There are so many fish and the water is
so clear, I feel just like I’m
diving at some beautiful Caribbean island. Of all the animals in the tank,
of course the Sand Tiger sharks
are my favorite. The aquarists keep them well fed,
so they are not aggressive at
all. But they are beautiful to watch. Unfortunately, I have to work.
A diver has to scrub these
windows every day to keep the algae from growing on them. I
tried to tell them I don’t do
windows, but an aquarist’s job is never finished. Meanwhile, Sherrie is checking
the health of the fish. She’s
down on the bottom examining a nurse shark that has a small
cut. When I finally finish the
windows, Sherrie demonstrates
how she feeds the Sand Tiger sharks. They aren’t always hungry since
they are fed regularly. But the
aquarists use a pole to feed them because when they
do decide to eat, you wouldn’t
want your fingers anywhere near those teeth! I hang back and film the action
for a while, but soon Sherrie
decides that I’m ready to try feeding the fish. This
is exciting! I finally get to
do the fun stuff! She hands me some squid and I
look for a taker. The pressure
is on because everyone is
watching! A cownose ray comes up and
tries to take the squid from
me, but I haven’t quite gotten the hang of it. The ray gives
up and moves on. So I try feeding the nurse
shark using the pole, just like
Sherrie showed me. Talk about getting the cold shoulder! At last Sherrie takes pity on
my pathetic attempts and gives
me some capelin. I’m told I can’t go wrong with this
irresistible delicious fish. My first taker is a cow nosed
ray, and I can’t resist giving
her a little belly rub as she swims over. I must be doing something right
because she takes a lap around
the tank and comes back for more. Next Myrtle the Turtle comes
over. Turtles are supposed to
eat plants and jellyfish, but Myrtle isn’t picky. As you
can see from her figure, she
likes food. And when Myrtle wants food, you just give it to
her! Forget the sharks, Myrtle
runs this tank. The cow nosed ray is back for
thirds. Aren’t they cute?? Next I try my luck with a large
Pompano. With all the fish fed, my job
in the GOT is finished and I
head for the surface. It has been a long but
thrilling tropical reef
dive━right in the heart of
Boston. I head back to the swim step.
Reluctantly, I must get out of
the water. That was great! 3 sharks and
none would eat anything from
me. They don’t like me Back in the dive locker room, I
can enjoy a nice clean shower.
And I know the drain won’t get plugged up! So what did I learn? Being an
aquarist is hard work. It’s not
all fun and games. Much of the job is devoted to
prepping food and cleaning
exhibits. But if you love the
creatures of the ocean, few things can
beat the fun of working with
animals like this. And if you are lucky enough to spend a
few hours a day diving in the
Giant Ocean Tank, well this just might be the best job
in the world. ( ♪ music )

51 thoughts on “Aquarist For A Day | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD

  1. I do marine biology, when I'm a kid! I always love going on my iPad searching up facts and writing it down in my note book!

  2. I really wanna study marine biology and possibly zoology as well. My dream job would be to become an aquarist. After watching this video I know that I would love this job.

  3. Good videoπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ˜Ž

  4. Ummmm so am I the one that's scare even thought we might be watching from our bedroom .. lol πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  5. Hi Jonathan u are so cool and brave to dive so much with sharks I would be dead scared my name is Cecilia and I am 10 years old you are one of my favourite youtubersπŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰β˜ΊοΈβ˜ΊοΈ

  6. I love your videos so much ❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *