Surprise as sharks begin breeding

A bamboo shark at Blue Reef Aquarium
A bamboo shark at Blue Reef Aquarium

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KEEPERS at an aquarium have been taking part in a bizarre egg hunt after tropical sharks unexpectedly began breeding.

So far bamboo sharks in the Blue Reef Aquarium, in Southsea Esplanade, 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 put them in a nursery unit to protect them from the unwanted attentions of would-be predators.

Blue Reef Aquarium’s Adam Makinson said: ‘We weren’t 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.’

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 as they are only just over a metre long when fully grown.

They are classified as ‘near threatened’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. The major threats to these sharks are the loss of their habitat, pollution and overfishing.