Resource Mapping

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Hi everyone

I thought I would add a few things of interest regarding who I am and what I do. As most of you know, I work at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, but I have been working in public aquaria now for just about 10 years. I specialise in the quarantining of fishes which is why I am studying further in the field of parasitology. One of my other passions in anaesthetics and anaesthetic procedure. I have added a few images taken during the relocation of the old Sea World aquarium in Durban to the new aquarium at uShaka Marine World in April 2004 to give you an idea of some of the fun stuff I get up to! The relocation from Sea World to uShaka Marine World in Durban was one of my favourites. The relocation went extremely well. It was the first time that an entire aquarium's exhibit stock was relocated using the anaesthetic 2-Phenoxyethanol and the first time that this drug was used on Zambezi (Carcharhinus leucas) and Ragged tooth sharks (Carcharias taurus). The drug 2-Phenoxyethanol acts on the nervous system and affects the transmission of nerve impulses between the synapses. It is added to the water at specific dosages, which we worked out during the relocation based on individual species reaction (excitation) level using conservative dosage increments and time intervals for observation.

I recently sent off the paper "Vaughan D., Penning M., and Christison K. 2007. 2-Phenoxyethanol as anaesthetic in removing and relocating 102 species of fishes representing 27 families from Sea World to uShaka Marine World, South Africa," on the use of this drug for publication to the International Journal of Fish Biology, which is now under review. The species-specific information has aleady been used for the successful relocation of the world's largest single shipment of juvenile Golden trevallies (Golden kingfish) from Singapore to the USA by plane.

Here are some images:

Old Sea World aquarium main "Reef" exhibit (2004).

Ragged tooth shark being removed from the shark tank (2004).

Introduction of Zambezi shark to uShaka Sea World shark tank (2004).

Me getting ready for an underwater medical procedure (2005)

This is most definately one of the most enjoyable jobs that must exist. Aquatic health management is regarded in this country as a relatively new field, but given a few more years, I think that this field will grow into something that can be used to support the growing aquaculture industry.

I am interested to know what all of you fellow students are working towards regarding a career. What fields are you interested in and what are the reasons for your interest in them? Let me know, I look forward to hearing your future plans!


David Vaughan
Senior aquarist, Quarantine
Two Oceans Aquarium
Cape Town, South Africa
+27 21 418 38 23


  • thanks many for informing us about yourself and what u are capable of. myself i raelly enjoy studying marine scince and wanna become a marine biologist one day. when i finish my course i will probably go and work for the ministry of fisheries and marine resources in namibia. good luck man and keep it up!!

    By Blogger fendi, at March 15, 2007 1:30 AM  

  • Thanks Ferdi

    I am sure the Marine sciences will provide you with much pleasure, as it has for me. All the best!


    By Blogger davidvaughan, at March 15, 2007 12:17 PM  

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