One of the Wilmington area’s top attractions, the NC Aquarium at Ft. Fisher explores mid-Atlantic coastal waters, marine life and wildlife through live aquarium exhibits, photographs and other educational displays.
Open daily 9 am- 5 pm year-round
The Aquarium is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day
Welcome to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, located in Kure Beach, NC at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. Visitors enjoy “The Waters of the Cape Fear”, as they take a journey down the Cape Fear River – from fresh water streams and swamps, to coastline habitats, to reefs and the open ocean.
Come take “A Walk in the Woods” and explore colorful art at the N. C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher.The newest installation in the Aquarium’s Spadefish Gallery, entitled “A Walk in the Woods: North Carolina’s Maritime Forests,” showcases the artistry of the Raleigh-Durham Chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA).
These unique ecosystems have adapted to the effects of salt spray and wind because of their proximity to the ocean. Each of North Carolina’s maritime forests is slightly different from the next and provides habitat for migrating and resident wildlife and a great array of plant species.
On display from now to March 1, the creative works celebrate the rich animal and plant diversity of maritime forests along our coast.
A yearling green sea turtle, a school of juvenile African pompano and four baby bonnethead sharks now make their home in the “Shadows on the Sand” exhibit at the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Five baby bonnethead sharks (Syphyrna tiburo) joined a variety of rays already living in the exhibit. The shark siblings, all female, were born at the Aquarium in September. Their mother can be seen swimming in the Cape Fear Shoals exhibit.
Next, a yearling green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) joined the bonnethead pups. This animal hatched from eggs found in a late-laid nest in Emerald Isle and arrived at the Aquarium in December 2010.
After staff determined the sharks and turtle were acclimating to their new surroundings and each other, a school of juvenile African pompano (Alectis ciliaris) were added to the exhibit.
“Shadows on the Sand gives visitors a glimpse into a nursery of sorts,” says Aquarium Curator Hap Fatzinger. “Here Aquarium staff feed and care for these young animals as they grow and visitors can compare them with the more mature animals, including bonnetheads and African pompano, found in other exhibits.”