A new line in feeding ...

SCARBOROUGH Sea Life Centre staff have come up with a novel way of feeding tropical fish – thanks to the imaginative use of a washing line.

Species including Clownfish, Tangs and Copperband Butterfly now have their food pegged out and suspended in the water in front of the viewing windows, giving visitors a grandstand view at feeding time.

The washing line feeds take place daily in the big ocean tank and have become as popular as any of the centre's numerous daily feeding events.

Displays curator Lyndsey Crawford said: "We simply peg the different items to a short washing line and then suspend it in the water directly in front of the viewing windows.

"As a result visitors get a grandstand view of the feeding frenzy and if there's anything left we simply haul in the line and remove it."

"The sharks seem less keen to feed from the line which also means the smaller reef fish no longer have to compete with them.

"Normally the reef fish stay amongst the rockwork and artificial corals, so the new regular washing-line feeds also provide visitors the best chance to appreciate the sheer number and diversity of them."

The fruit, vegetables and herbs that the smaller fish love used to be simply thrown in along with the food for the resident tropical sharks, but some stayed on the bed of the tank and rotted, placing unnecessary strain on the tank's filtration system.