Staff at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Hastings have joined a continent-wide campaign aimed at raising awareness of the threats faced by shark species in European Waters.
The aquarium is hosting ‘European Shark Week’ from October 9th – 17th with the hope of converting young people into shark lovers rather than shark haters.
Of the 40 shark species found in European seas, one-third are threatened by intensive and illegal fishing, sport fishing and accidental capture, according to the World Conservation Union (IUCN).
The last 15 years have seen an 80-per cent drop in the shark population, and 20 per cent of the European species are on the verge of critical status for survival.
Using a mixture of exhibitions, entertaining talks, feeding demonstrations and fun activities, Shark Week aims to dispel many of the popular misconceptions of sharks as mindless man-eaters by showing the facts behind the fiction.
As well as coming face to face with living members of native shark species, ranging from native dogfish to an endangered Angel Shark, visitors to the aquarium can also visit the ‘Shark Nursery’ - home to our newly-hatched tropical banded catsharks.
There are also quizzes and competitions and displays by the Shark Trust - a UK shark conservation group along with other information on what we can all do to help save sharks.
Blue Reef Co-ordinator Kate Buss said: “We’re hoping that the combination of babies, fun quizzes and shark talks will help to provide our visitors with a different view of these much-maligned predators.
“We’re getting some very positive feedback from the public and I’m sure that we also managed to convert quite a few of the visitors into, if not shark lovers, then at least shark supporters!”
British waters are visited by around 30 different species - including the world’s second largest, the basking shark, which can grow to 12 metres.
To find out more visit www.bluereefaquarium.co.uk or call Hastings on or call 01424 718776.