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Introduction to Animals

safety logoWorking w/ life is a priviledge.
People are watching.
Are you minimizing pain/discomfort?


ALL people working with animals, animal tissue and/or doing field work need to fill out this form and return it to the address on the form. This includes invertebrate use. 



  • fishOur relationship with the animals around us has changed over the last fifty years.

  • Scientifically illiterate people do not see the benefits of research using animals.

  • Animals to them are either pets or on a "save" list.

  • We need to present ourselves, our research, and our animal use with sensitivity.

  • The menu above covers various aspects of working with animals.

  • For vertebrate work, your APLAC protocol must be approved BEFORE work begins.
    This includes addendums for new species & new people too.

Seawater Use

seawater spigotThe different spigots in our aquaria facilities are capable of between 3 and 30 gallons per minute. This equates to 4,000-40,000 gallons a day. Do you really need this much water? Our incoming water never falls below 85% saturated oxygen. Most tanks can get by with one water change per hour. So a trough of 50 gallons only needs about one gallon per minute TOTAL. Having all of your spigots going at once is wasteful and unnecessary.

Please help conserve. It is easy to check your water input with a bottle and a stop watch.




State Water Resources Control Board

Because we have a flow through seawater system and border an ASBS (Area of Special Biological Significance), the State of California requires Hopkins to get an "exception" permit, i.e., an exception to the "no discharge" rule of the State's water plan, to allow our 'waste' seawater to flow back into the Bay. This requirement exists even though the seawater discharged from our aquaria has been tested thoroughly for chemical content and biological effects and has been found not to differ from the 'receiving' water, i.e., the water of Monterey Bay. To continue holding this exception to State law, we must follow a number of strict rules when using our aquarium systems. If we are found to be violating these rules, the State may close down our seawater aquarium systems. Suffice it to say, even if you regard some of these rules as inappropriate or unnecessary, we must comply with them because of the high risks associated with being found in violation of State laws dealing with discharge into the ASBS.

Species definitions: A permitted species must exist in Monterey Bay, be collected in California and not be designated as an invasive species. You may think your animal/plant is an exception to the rule. It's not. There are no exceptions to the rule, period.

ALL other species must get Fish & Game approval for proper housing and care BEFORE work can begin. This will include a method to sterilize the outgoing water, means to prevent this water from getting to the ocean even during a power outage or emergency, posting tanks and limiting access.

Reasoning: This all may seem silly and stupid to you. Your species exists all up and down the west coast, how can it be a problem if collected outside of California? The reason is that no one is alone. An organism always comes with other 'hitchhikers' along for the ride, even if just bacteria/viruses. These hitchhikers may be dangerous to the local populations. The classic example is what 'humans' from Europe did to the Native American 'humans' in Americas. Same species, but nasty infections came along for the ride and wiped out 90% of the local population.

Chemicals: Nothing but seawater is allowed down a seawater drain. This includes obvious chemicals such as Clorox and antibiotics, but also includes fresh water (which contains chlorine). Hopkins will continue to maintain a "no chemicals" rule in all aquria. Thus all cleaning of tanks should be done with seawater, brushes and "elbow grease"; no detergents or other chemicals (e.g., bleach) should ever be used.

The State regulations on discharge into the ASBS also cover storm water and fresh water. Storm water can only go down a storm water drain, tap water down a tap water drain and seawater down a seawater drain.

These discharge requirements also mean that washing of boats and outboard motors must be done in such a way that the waste water never ends up in the ocean, but instead percolates into the soil. At this point we are thinking of doing the motors in the grassy area near the electronics shop. The new policy will be announced shortly in concert with our development of new best management plans (BMPs) for all discharged waters and waters used in washing boats and motors.

The costs in funding and time associated with conforming to the requirements of the State's policies related to ASBS discharge are substantial. We are currently in discussions with the Regional and State Water Boards about BMPs and monitoring requirements. Please view the rules given above (and other rules that may be developed as we establish our BMPs) as inviolable--even if they "don't make sense" to you. Unless we follow the State's dictates in these matters, we risk losing our seawater system or, at the least, we will face steep fines for any infractions that occur.