According to a press release just issued, Aquarists at Deep Sea World, Scotland’s national aquarium, are looking after more than 30 baby sharks – with another 50 due to hatch out in the coming weeks. The unprecedented baby boom is centred around the North Queensferry attraction’s collection of native sharks with baby bull huss, smooth hounds and dogfish joining their quintet of Critically Endangered angel shark pups.
The vast majority of the sharks have been born at the aquarium and are part of an ongoing captive breeding for native species. Deep Sea World’s Michael Morris said: “We’re proud of our captive breeding successes with Scottish sharks; last year we became the first aquarium in the world to breed angel shark pups. However even we have been surprised by the sheer number of offspring this year and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight with more expected over the coming months. In fact it’s been so successful that we’re likely to have more than 100 baby sharks born this year alone. Many of them will remain here at the aquarium while others will go to our sister aquariums throughout the UK,” he added.
A selection of the newborn babies and egg-cases are due to go on show in a new Shark Nursery which opens at the aquarium later this month. Visitors will have the opportunity to watch unborn shark embryos wriggling around in their protective egg-case and they may even be fortunate enough to see some of them actually hatching out.
“Shark species worldwide are facing an uncertain future so this baby boom is very welcome and is the perfect demonstration that conditions in our displays are just right,” added Michael.
Smooth hounds are found in coastal waters all around the British Isles, in the Mediterranean and as far south as the Cape of Good Hope. As their name suggests they have a relatively smooth skin compared to other shark species.
The bull huss is also known as the nursehound or greater spotted dogfish and usually lives over rocky seabeds and can reach lengths of 1.2 metres.