July 15, 2016
A metre-and-a-half-long nursehound called ‘Sharky’ is the newest arrival at Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium.
After spending time in quarantine, the adult male nursehound was released in to a large open-top display alongside another male named George.
Staff named the new arrival ‘Sharky’ after the other titular character in the 1980s cartoon show ‘Sharky & George’.
Blue Reef Aquarium’s Leanna Lawson said: “Sharky is definitely one of the largest native sharks we have had here at the aquarium and significantly larger than our other male.
“He appears to be in excellent condition and is already settling in well and eating enthusiastically.
“He seems to have already struck up some kind of friendly relationship with our other male shark as the pair spend most of their time together
“The aquarists say Sharky and George not only swim together but will also lay beside each other. Apparently this is not unusual in the wild – although their behaviour tends to change if there is also a female present!” she added.
The nursehound – or bull huss – is a member of the dogfish family. It is usually found over rocky seabeds and broken ground where the mottled appearance of the fish blends into the background.
Nursehounds mate in the autumn and the females lay their eggs in shallow water close to shore. When the nursehounds hatch they are exact miniatures of the adults and begin feeding almost immediately.
Their diet includes mussels, oysters, crabs, lobsters, fish, squid, cuttlefish and octopus. Fully grown they can reach lengths in excess of 1.6 metres and weigh over 10kgs.