National Marine Aquarium welcomes two Sandbar Sharks


8th October 2018

The National Marine Aquarium (NMA) is delighted to announce that it has welcomed new arrivals, two Sandbar Sharks, which are now on display in the NMA’s Atlantic Ocean exhibit.

Sandbar Sharks are a very beautiful and interesting species of shark. The NMA is now the only aquarium in the UK where you can see this type of shark. They are a very powerful looking animal, with larger fins relative to their body size, compared to other shark species. Despite this, they are calm, non-aggressive, and very easy to dive with.

The Sandbar Sharks have joined the NMA from SEA LIFE Brighton, as part of SEA LIFE Brighton’s £2.6 Million restoration works. They will stay as permanent residents at the NMA after it was decided not to move the sharks again once the restoration is complete.

The new sharks, one male and one female, join another female Sandbar Shark in the exhibit. The male shark is the smallest of the Sandbar Sharks, which is usual within sharks and rays, making him easy for visitors to spot.

The Atlantic Ocean Tank exhibit is the deepest in the UK and the largest single tank containing 2.5 million litres of water. The tank is home to some of the NMA’s most iconic residents, including a 2m Lemon Shark, 2.5m Sand Tiger Sharks, Nurse Sharks, and the only Ocellated Eagle Rays in the UK.

The exhibit allows the public to walk underneath the tank, 10.8m down and view the incredible marine species from a unique view.

James Wright, Curator at the National Marine Aquarium, said: “It’s fantastic that we have been able to welcome these two new Sandbar Sharks to the Aquarium – the only place to see them in the UK. We now have two females and a male shark in the exhibit. All of the sharks are mature, we are hoping that they may breed naturally in the future.

“The new sharks have been through a period of settling in, taking residence in the acclimation tank while they got used their new surroundings, and to ensure that the shark’s re-location to the NMA was as smooth as possible.

“We are now looking forward to helping the new inhabitants bond with their new tank mates and for visitors to learn more about our new inhabitants.”

The Sandbar Sharks join the NMA after spending 15 years at SEA LIFE Brighton.

Sandbar Shark fact file:

  • The Sandbar Shark is found almost worldwide in warm temperate and tropical waters.
  • Sandbar Sharks are predominantly found at the bottom of the ocean, in shallow water near the coast, they aren’t seen at the surface very often.
  • The Sandbar Shark feeds by day and night, although more actively at night.
  • Sandbar Sharks are primarily a predator of relatively small fish, with some molluscs and crustaceans.

 

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