Home Lifestyle

Feinstein Foundation Puts You in the Center of Mystic Aquarium’s Shark Research

Win Mystic Aquarium Tickets – Entry Deadline Friday 7/14/17

By Jamie Appelberg, Mystic Aquarium

Shark Week is rapidly approaching and The Feinstein Foundation, Mystic Aquarium and Discovery Channel have teamed up to offer you free admission to Mystic Aquarium where you’ll screen Shark Week’s premier episode in advance of its broadcast.

Feinstein Scholars Ask All New Shark Questions:


During Shark Week, Discovery Channel encourages viewers to become shark ‘finbassadors’ – “individuals who advocate on behalf of sharks” and “who take action to support shark conservation.” At Mystic Aquarium we proudly do this every day!

Encounter programs like “Shark Touch” help Mystic Aquarium fulfill our mission to inspire people to care for and protect the ocean planet. The unique experience of feeling a shark swim beneath your fingers helps foster a deeper appreciation for the animals.

Public awareness through education is only one facet of our stated mission, to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education and research.

So, where do researchers come in as ‘finbassadors’?

Sharks have long been one of the greatest mysteries of the ocean. Scientists, like our own Dr. Paul Anderson, are looking to delve deeper into the vast ocean to learn more about these incredible creatures.

Dr. Anderson studies the connections of animal behavior, sensory systems, and physiology to inform the management of aquatic animal populations in the wild – and their husbandry in human care. As one example, Anderson and other Mystic Aquarium scientists research sand tiger sharks’ physical health complications. This study is intended to understand why sand tiger sharks develop spinal deformities in aquaria. As a partial result, aquarists now take preventative measures for this problem, including vitamin supplements and behavioral enrichment programs.

Researchers from around the globe are studying everything from shark biology and behavior, to migration and mating, to status and vulnerability. Research regularly uncovers new, differing and worsening vulnerabilities for sharks, making advocacy for sharks even more critical.

In April of 2015, Katie Cubina, Senior Vice President of Mission Programs, submitted testimony at the Rhode Island State House that helped to ultimately pass legislation that prohibited the possession, sale, and trade of shark fins in Rhode Island. While it was a small but important victory, Mystic Aquarium and its shark ‘finbassadors’ know that this was an important step in protecting the existing shark populations. And, as apex predators, sharks are critical to the marine ecosystem!

Mystic Aquarium also is a proud participant in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) initiative which is working to help save sharks as well as other endangered species.

Thanks to the lifelong work of one of Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Peter Auster, Mystic Aquarium’s contribution of scientific research helped secure the designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts on September 14, 2016 as the first Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean. Today an Executive Order threatens to undo the protection of this and many of our nation’s most cherished natural, cultural, and historic wonders.

As a shark ‘finbassador’, you can help us defend the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts!

New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts features canyons that cut into the continental shelf, some deeper than the Grand Canyon; seamounts, the only such underwater mountains in the U.S. Atlantic, which rise thousands of feet from the ocean floor. The ecosystems here are rare, diverse, and highly sensitive to disturbance. These habitats support abundant marine life, a high diversity of marine mammals and, of course, sharks.

With the goal of reaching 1 million comments in support of our #MonumentsForAll!, Mystic Aquarium is urging the concerned public to submit a comment to the Department of Interior before July 10 by logging on to http://monumentsforall.org/ and sharing why protection of this monument is important.

In his continuing search for new and exciting educational opportunities, Alan Shawn Feinstein has now made it possible for area folks to become shark experts. The Feinstein Foundation is offering the opportunity for people to win tickets to see a screening of the premier episode of “Shark Week” at Mystic Aquarium before it has aired on the Discovery Channel.

Alan Shawn Feinstein’s commitment to schools and education in the State of Rhode Island and South Eastern Massachusetts is legendary. He has dedicated millions of dollars to its schools, and consistently promotes the importance of community service in education and the values of caring, compassion and brotherhood. Students are still enjoying personal visits from Alan at their elementary schools and viewers can still hear his message through his RI PBS show which can also be seen on Netflix! Alan Shawn Feinstein and the Feinstein Foundation are dedicated to empowering youngsters to reach out to help others and teach them the importance of compassion and caring for those in need. There are currently over 250,000 Feinstein Jr. Scholars pledging to do good deeds every day.

For more on sharks, click here!