The Austin Aquarium obtaining accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is of the utmost importance. It conveys to the citizens of Austin that its owners ensure the care of the animals on display.
“We hope to inspire a young generation of ocean explorers and conservationists through education and a shared experience with a live animal, to create an appreciation for the oceans,” says owner Vince Covino.
An accreditation from AZA would help to fulfill the hopes of Mr. Covino.
Taken directly from the AZA Accreditation Standards Preamble:
"Zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) are
continuously evolving. A primary goal of AZA institutions is to achieve the highest
standard of welfare for the animals in our care. Standards are constantly being raised, ensuring that animals in AZA institutions are receiving the best possible care from highly qualified staff, in modern facilities that represent best practice in our profession. 21st century AZA-accredited institutions and certified related facilities are expected to be leaders in the field and to embrace the highest quality facilities, programs, and staff available. Animals must be well cared for and housed in appropriate settings that provide an educational experience for visitors, and meet the animals’ physical, psychological, and social needs. Animals must be managed as appropriate for long-term genetic viability of the species, which means careful planning of resource allocation, ex-situ breeding, and ex-situ/in-situ conservation and research.
The phrase “modern zoological practices and philosophies” refers to practices and philosophies that are commonly accepted as the norm by the profession. The word “practices” represents the tangible while “philosophies” refers to an overall perspective. AZA-accredited institutions and certified related facilities must be incorporating modern zoological practices and philosophies as basic tenets.
All AZA accredited institutions and Certified Related facilities must follow all local, state, and federal laws and/or regulations. Some AZA standards may be more stringent than existing laws and/or regulations and, in these cases, the AZA standards must be met."