A special fortnight of shark conservation activities at Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park were given an unexpected boost by the surprise arrival of a baby bull huss shark.
The six-inch long youngster emerged from its mermaid’s purse egg-case during Shark Weeks to add another species – the 11th – to the total displayed at Weymouth Sea Life Park.
Marine experts have been hosting shark-themed talks, quiz trails, children’s stories and other events to highlight the poor shark’s desperate need for more allies.
“There’s nothing like a new-born baby to help win over more shark supporters,” said curator Fiona Smith, “especially among the younger generation whose future attitude to the oceans’ apex predator will be crucial to its survival prospects.”
The egg-case had lain undisturbed in the Park’s outdoor rockpool attraction for a couple of months, having originally been laid in a behind-the-scenes quarantine facility.
“Its parents have long since been transferred to another Sea Life attraction, so the baby is currently the only bull huss we have,” said Fiona.
The new arrival is one of only two species of native sharks on display at the Park, the other being the similar but more slender lesser spotted nursehound, better known to fish n’ chip shop patrons as ‘rock salmon.’
Visitors are also able to enjoy close encounters with black-tipped reef, nurse, guitar, bonnet-head, bamboo, epaulette, Port Jackson and horn sharks, however.
One of several shark conservation events at Sea Lifes across the country, the Shark Weeks which end today (Friday, October 24th) also urged support for a new campaign by the Cornwall-based Shark Trust for new fishing quotas for sharks.
The Trust’s work also received a handy boost recently, a £10,000 grant from the Sea Life Trust, a new marine conservation charity set up by the Sea Life network.