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Sunday is last chance to catch Shark Weekend at National Aquarium

Sunday - 7/28/2013, 9:03am  ET

shark (Courtesy of National Aquarium)
More sharks are removed from the shark population than are being added because they reproduce so slowly. (Courtesy of National Aquarium)
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WASHINGTON - This is one of the biggest weekends at the National Aquarium in Washington, D.C. It's Shark Weekend.

You may want to check it out since the aquarium's days are numbered.

Shark Weekend is in its 14th year with the main focus of promoting shark conservation.

The weekend is a way to bust some shark myths and teach people about these creatures that have traveled the world's oceans for millions of years.

Jay Bradley, aquarium general curator, says roughly 73 million sharks are killed each year. He says there are many more sharks being removed from the shark population than are being added because they reproduce so slowly.

Your last chance to catch this special shark weekend is Sunday, July 28 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The weekend's activities include several shark feedings, curator talks, shark tooth scavenger hunts, face painting and shark puppet making.

Where is the National Aquarium located? You may have walked right past and not known it.

"We're in the lower level of the Commerce building. We've been here since 1932," says Bradley.

But on Sept. 1, the aquarium will close its doors.

Bradley says the animals will be moved to other facilities.

"What's happening next, we're not really sure," he says.

The goal is to reopen in another location.

"We certainly hope so. I can't say 100 percent right now but that's our goal," Bradley says, adding there is a task force that is looking into several different options.

But at this point the aquarium's future is uncertain.

The National Aquarium is located at 1401 Constitution Ave. in Northwest.

So why is the aquarium is located in the Commerce building?

When the building was first being built there was an agency called the Bureau of Fisheries which was part of the Department of Commerce. This agency was a precursor to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency wanted to highlight some of its work so an aquarium was built into the building when it opened in 1932, according to Bradley.

The National Aquarium is not for profit and is the longest, continuously operating aquarium in the U.S.

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