UK Aquarium hails birth of rare shark


Published by Deep Sea World,
17. November 2011

Delighted keepers at Deep Sea World, Scotlands national aquarium, are celebrating after the birth of a rare angel shark pup.

Its the first time the critically endangered shark has ever bred successfully in the UK .

Aquarists at the North Queensferry aquarium have placed the baby shark, which was born prematurely, into a special nursery tank where it is being constantly monitored.

It is thought the female will give birth to more pups over the coming days and a round-the-clock watch is being maintained by staff.

Deep Sea Worlds Aisling Thornton said: As soon as the first pup was born it was very carefully transferred into its own display where it can be kept under observation.

The first 24 hours are crucial and we are all just hoping for the best and keeping our fingers crossed. The female appears to be in good condition and we are expecting more pups to be born,” she added.

In 2006 the angel shark, which can grow to two metres in length, was declared extinct in the North Sea. At the same time its status was upgraded to Critically Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

Critically Endangered means that a species’ numbers have decreased, or will decrease, by 80% within three generations.

Angel sharks grow very slowly and mature only at a large size. The result is that very few angel sharks reach maturity and breed resulting in an ever declining population.

They are also highly vulnerable to being caught as a by-catch through bottom trawls, set nets and bottom long lines. Historically they have also been used both fresh and dried salted for human consumption, and in the production of oil and fishmeal.

Source and Photo Credit: Deep Sea World



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