The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) just announced that OdySea Aquarium was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

“Less than 10% of animal exhibitors registered with USDA have achieved AZA-accreditation, so OdySea Aquarium truly ranks among the best-of-the-best,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “OdySea Aquarium has shown its commitment to conservation and protecting the natural world by meeting our accreditation standards in animal care and welfare, which are universally acknowledged as the ‘gold-standard’ within the zoological profession.”

To be accredited, OdySea Aquarium underwent a thorough review to make certain it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards in categories which include animal care and welfare, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association. 

The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the institution’s operation, including animal care and welfare; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and more. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied.  Any institution that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.

“As a new facility, this first-time accreditation is very important to us.  We are very proud to receive this honor,” said Greg Charbeneau, VP & General Manager of OdySea Aquarium. “This recognizes the hard work put forth by our team and further demonstrates our deep commitment to the animals, marine conservation and education programs.”