Baby Sharks on Display
Big egg-citement here... we're opening a new baby shark tank this Easter, showing off our newly hatched catsharks and skates
Spring is a time for new life, and some very special new-borns are set to make an appearance this Easter - baby sharks and skates!
Our adult lesser-spotted catsharks, bull huss and thornback skates are really good at breeding and frequently lay eggs known as mermaids’ purses. These are collected by our husbandry team and kept in quarantine tanks behind the scenes for up to 9 months before they hatch out. Until now, the youngsters have been kept within the confines of the quarantine tanks for a year or more until they are big enough to hold their own among other bigger fish in the aquarium’s display tanks. The babies could only be seen by visitors on special VIP aquarium tours.
Thanks to sponsorship from utilities company TAQA and help from the Friends of Macduff Marine Aquarium, we are unveiling a new feature including an improved hatchery for the mermaids’ purses and a purpose-built nursery tank for the baby sharks and skates.
In addition to the shark hatchery and nursery tank, the inventive aquarium husbandry team have made some modifications to the existing sandy seabed exhibit to allow the growing-on catsharks and thornback skates to be accommodated as they get bigger.
Since we made changes to our touch pools some years ago, we haven’t been able to keep our newly hatched catsharks and skates on display for public to view. We’re very grateful for the support from TAQA and FOMMA and are delighted to now be able to show off these charismatic and bite-sized predators. The changes we made to the sandy seabed tank will also let us move the juveniles from nursery to creche as they mature – so visitors can see the entire lifecycle of these local shark species in our displays from egg to adult.
The young catsharks, bull huss and thornback skates will stay at the aquarium for several years until they are large enough to eventually be released to support the local wild populations of these species.‹ 2023