The Collection The UBC Fish Museum was begun in the mid-1940s with collections donated by Dr. C. MacLean Fraser, first head of the Department of Zoology at UBC. Since those early beginnings, the collection has expanded dramatically to include of alcohol-stored whole fishes (approximately 800,000 specimens), cleared and stained specimens (to reveal internal bony structure), skeletal preparations, x-ray images, and some fossil fishes.
Many Varieties The marine fish collections are largely from the northeastern Pacific (including extensive collections from the Aleutian Peninsula), the Malay Archipelago, Mexico, and the Galapagos. The freshwater holdings include extensive collections from northwestern North America, Panama, and the Amazon Basin. The collection also includes extensive tissue and DNA archives. There are over 5,000 individual DNA samples of mostly freshwater fishes from northwestern North America, many of which are paired with whole specimen collections.