We have developed an acquisition policy that centers around the cold-water, marine ichthyofauna (juveniles and adults, as well as early life history stages) of the North Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea, and Pacific sector of the Arctic Ocean. With this as our primary mandate, we are unique among ichthyological collections in the U.S. We will, of course, also continue to provide a repository for freshwater fishes of the Pacific Northwest.
Under no circumstances will the Burke Museum or the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences accept specimens that were illegally collected or acquired by the donor. We encourage exchanges of specimens with other institutions and often make gifts of well-represented species to local schools, etc. Individuals who wish to donate specimens but are unfamiliar with standard practices should consult "Methods of preserving fishes" and contact the Collection Manager.
Our loan policy makes any and all parts of the collection available to qualified investigators and their students in the U.S. and abroad. We lend, donate, and exchange material freely. Each request, however, is reviewed to determine if the potential borrower is likely to take proper care of the material and if the material itself is in a condition to withstand shipment.
Loans are invoiced with catalog numbers, species names, data, and period of the loan (one year with the option to then extend the loan period). The costs of processing and shipping specimens on loan are covered by the Fish Collection, with the expectation that loans will be returned at the borrower's expense. Individuals interested in obtaining specimens on loan should first search our databases in order to identify potentially interesting lots, and should then contact the Collection Manager for additional information and/or to request a loan.