February 3, 2015
Keepers at Portsmouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium have been taking part in a bizarre egg hunt after their tropical sharks unexpectedly began breeding. So far the Southsea attraction’s resident bamboo sharks have laid half a dozen egg-cases with more due over the coming days. Aquarists are having to carefully remove the eggs from the main display and place them in a special nursery unit to protect them from the unwanted attentions of would-be predators.
Blue Reef Aquarium’s Adam Makinson said: “To be honest we weren’t really expecting the sharks to start breeding quite so quickly. However it’s great news and clearly indicates conditions in their display are just about perfect. We are taking the precaution of removing the eggs for their own safety but they all seem viable and we’re looking forward to baby bamboo sharks hatching out later in the year,” he added.
Bamboo sharks get their name from the dark-coloured bands which cover their bodies from birth. As they mature the bands normally fade until the adult shark become a light brown colour. Found from the east coast of the Indian Peninsula to northern Australia and north as far as Japan, bamboo sharks live around coral reefs and tidepools.
Their diet consists of meaty foods, such as shrimp, crabs fish and squid and they pose no threat to humans only reaching a maximum of just over a metre in length when fully grown.
Bamboo sharks actually prefer shallow waters, however they regularly become stranded in rockpools during low tide. To combat this they have the ability to survive for up to 12 hours out of water.
They are classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List. The major threats to these sharks are the loss of their habitat, pollution and over fishing.
Issued by Blue Reef Aquarium. For more information and to arrange interviews, picture or filming opportunities please contact Adam Makinson on 02392 875222.