Our Public Aquarium is part of Grenfell Campus of Memorial University, and is home to a wide range of the marine animals and plants that can be found in Bonne Bay, from the intertidal right down to the cold dark depths of the fjord.  When you come visit us you can take part in a tour by one of our knowledgeable interpreters, and get up-close with some of the creatures in our ever popular touch tank.


Aquarium Tours

Aquarium Tours are run by our highly-trained, seasonal student interpreters, who are generally university students studying the natural sciences and bring a wealth of knowledge to the experience in our aquarium.

The Public Aquarium houses a range of marine flora and fauna from seaweeds to cod and wolffish, but no marine mammals. There is also our ever popular touch-tank where adults and children can get up close with some of our common tidepool animals and plants.

Get up close to the life you can normally only see deep under Bonne Bay, and be amazed by the facts and funnies your guide will tell you!


School Programming

Discovery Tour for School Groups

A boat tour of the central part of Bonne Bay will give students hands-on contact with the marine environment. Students will use scientific equipment to sample seawater, and collect some of the smallest creatures found in the ocean. Then it is back to the Norris Point waterfront to explore the wonderful creatures housed in our aquarium.


Discovery Tours

In partnership with BonTours, we invite you to join one of our student interpreters on an education-packed boat tour of the central part of beautiful Bonne Bay fjord.

​The comfortable, family-friendly boat is used to help you sample the deep cold waters of Bonne Bay, and sample the tiny plankton that are so important to the food chain. Our knowledgeable interpreter will help you with the collections, tell you about the natural history of the bay, and bring you back to the Public Aquarium to give you a tour of the larger residents of Bonne Bay that we keep in the aquarium.

The boat tour will take you past some of the most beautiful views in Bonne Bay, and if you are lucky you might spot bald eagles or even a whale or tuna.

You will:

  • Enjoy spectacular scenery "where mountains meet the sea".
  • Find out how ice has shaped the landscape around us.
  • Learn how Bonne Bay can support such a rich diversity of marine life.
  • Collect and examine fragile marine plankton, and learn about marine food webs.
  • Take an interactive tour of the Public Aquarium.
  • Get your hands wet among the rocky shore creatures living in our touch tank.
  • See the importance of marine research.

Make your reservation through BonTours. If you would like to know more about the tour, please speak to our front desk staff at the Aquarium or give us a call at (709) 458-2874 or (709) 458-2550.



When the Bonne Bay Aquarium & Research Station were constructed, archeologists from Memorial University conducted a small excavation before construction of the new buildings began.  Stone tools were already well known from Bonne Bay, so a team from Memorial University was brought in to assess the site.

There was report of looting of the sites from the 1940s, when local children would actually sell artifacts to tourists, and it was likely to be a disturbed site due to its position within a community.

The excavation team from Memorial University, led by Prof. Priscilla Renouf, found stone tools, flakes from tool making and other artifacts that are characteristic of the Groswater Pre-Inuit technologies. The site was actually part of the lawn and potato patch of the garden of the old marine station!

It is amazing to think that before Europeans came, the Aquarium site would probably have been a "butchering station" for many hundreds of years.  Other sites in the Norris Point area include Maritime Archaic, Pre-Inuit and Dorset artifacts discovered by Bishop (1974; actually the first discovery of the Groswater Pre-Inuit), and later by Renouf, Bell and Hull (2001).

Some of the artifacts from the excavations can be seen in the Public Aquarium.

When we say that, "We acknowledge that the lands on which Memorial University’s campuses are situated in are the traditional territories of diverse indigenous groups, and we acknowledge with respect the diverse histories and cultures of the Beothuk, Mi’kmaq, Innu, and Inuit of this province" there is very clear evidence of that rich pre-European history here on our campus at Bonne Bay.


Naval Artifacts

he large anchor you see as you come into the Aquarium was recovered (with much difficulty) from 40m of water depth just off the wharf at Norris Point by Dr. Bob Hooper.

The anchor resembles those used by the British Navy in the late 1800s. It is interesting in that it predates forged shackles, and since it was not part of a wreck, we think it was likely dropped from the boat by accident.

Someone will have got themselves into a lot of trouble in the late 1800s.

Dr. Hooper and other recreational divers have recovered a lot of artifacts from the depths of Bonne Bay through the years, some of which are included in our displays. Come and have a look around!