Baby sharks settle in swimmingly at Sea Life Centre

Scarborough Sealife Centre . Operations Manager Jana Sirova views the newly installed baby sharks at the centre. pic Richard Ponter 160618b
Scarborough Sealife Centre . Operations Manager Jana Sirova views the newly installed baby sharks at the centre. pic Richard Ponter 160618b
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Two special shark babies – both a little over six months old – have arrived at their new home Scarborough Sea Life Centre.

Born in Germany last summer they were among the first dozen baby blacktip reef sharks produced in a pioneering Europe-wide Sea Life breeding programme.

Though currently not endangered, some localised colonies of blacktips have been wiped out by the shark-finning industry.

Marine experts believe Sea Life’s programme could prove invaluable if captive bred blacktips are needed for future reintroduction to the wild.

“We are soon to complete a £200,000 redevelopment of our ocean display which will make it the perfect environment for these young sharks,” said displays supervisor Lyndsey Crawford.

“They are an unrelated male and female and the hope is that when they reach sexual maturity in four or five years, they will produce second–generation captive bred offspring, which would confirm captive breeding as a realistic safety net for this species.”

They will be joined in the new-look ocean display, complete with simulated coral reef and shipwreck, by a pair of bonnethead sharks - members of the hammerhead family.