A world under the sea

The Shark Reef moves to Ross Plaza.


Staff writer

Vibrant blue, orange and yellow fish, a couple of sharks and a whole lot of corals now call Ross Plaza home sweet home.

The Shark Reef recently moved from Clear Creek Nursery on Clear Creek Road to Ross Plaza along Silverdale Way in Silverdale. Owner Eric Morgensen said the continually growing nursery and his business just weren’t coinciding.

“The nursery hours and my hours just weren’t working together,” Morgensen said. “Being able to be open until 8 p.m. makes a big difference for everyone.”

Morgensen opened The Shark Reef at Clear Creek Nursery in 2002, but recently moved the business to Ross Plaza and has already seen increased foot traffic and received praise for the new store.

“Most people think it looks bigger, but it’s actually a bit smaller than our old location,” he said. “Everyone really likes it and everyone has been really happy with what the shop looks like.”

Morgensen, a 1994 Central Kitsap High School graduate, began working at a saltwater aquarium store while attending Brigham Young University in Utah and developed a passion in the field.

“It was a hobby in college that my wife and I picked up,” Morgensen said.

Morgensen opened The Shark Reef at Clear Creek Nursery when he returned home from college with a music degree and enjoys running the business.

“I didn’t think I’d make any money as a musician, so I figured I’d better do something else I enjoyed,” he said with a smile.

Morgensen said relocating the aquarium business was difficult, but he had friends and family to help. Morgensen built new fish tanks and did all of the store’s plumbing himself during the move.

“I decided I wanted to replace a bunch of the stuff,” Morgensen said.

The Shark Reef sells saltwater fish, corals and inverts as well as all of the supplies to go along with owning a saltwater aquarium. Morgensen also will set up and maintain saltwater tanks. He continues to care for the saltwater aquarium at Clear Creek Nursery.

“I appreciate everything Sean (Olmsted, owner of Clear Creek Nursery) did for me,” he said. “Him and I still get along great.”

Morgensen sells fish from all around the world. His stock comes from Fiji, the Philippines, Hawaii, the Florida Keys and even the Red Sea.

“I get them from all over the place,” Morgensen said. “I do a little bit of wholesale, but I import most of them myself.”

Because of the success of the 2003 animated movie “Finding Nemo,” Morgensen said the “Nemos” and “Dorys” continue to be the most popular saltwater fish.

“Clown fish have always been a big one,” he said. “The sale of blue tangs went through the roof after that movie.”

Morgensen also has colorful live corals, eels and a couple sharks. The Shark Reef is home to a small nurse shark and a blacktip reef shark.

“We’re actually the only place anywhere in Washington that I know of where you can see a blacktip reef shark free-of-charge,” Morgensen said. “It’s a big draw for everyone.”

Morgensen has only sold saltwater fish and aquarium goods and said once you have a saltwater aquarium, you will never go back.

“The fish are much, much prettier and you can do live corals,” he said. “You’ll never have another freshwater tank after you have a saltwater tank.”

Morgensen loves his work and the colorful creatures he cares for, but he does not have his own fish tank in his family’s home. He considers The Shark Reef’s display aquarium to be his own.

“If I didn’t have the shop, that fish tank would be at my house,” he said with a smile.

The Shark Reef

10408 Silverdale Way NW, A103


(360) 662-1313



11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Closed Sunday