Skegness is known for its rich marine life, with its waters home to porpoises, jellyfish, starfish and even sperm whales last year – and now they can add sharks to the list!
The towns 4.5 million tourists are not going to be stopped from taking a paddle on the Blue Flag Central Beach, as the new sharks in Skegness are safely on display as part of the newest attraction at Skegness Aquarium.
The multi-million pound Skegness Aquarium opened in 2015 and marked the start of a new era in attracting private investment to the resort. The aquarium at the former Panda’s Palace new Skegness Clock Tower, is based on a Treasure Island theme, with a pirate ship wreck, a cannon and treasure chest, with Long John Silver and his crew bringing the theme alive. There is also a café and a soft play area for children.
The new Bamboo Cat Sharks are local, having been bred at Skegness Aquarium, the year-round attraction. The staff at the aquarium are celebrating their first successful breeding programme with its 11 baby Bamboo Cat Sharks.
The aquarium’s first ever shark was a zebra shark called Nudge, and it is fed by the aquarium’s dive team once a day on a diet of squid, fish and king prawns. Zebra sharks are listed as being vulnerable to threat of extinction.
They are very proud as the new shark eggs were laid in their shark nursery and the aquarium is relatively new. It shows that they have got the formula right for breeding. Six of the new sharks are already on public display, with visitors commenting on how ‘cute’ the new babies are.
At the moment, the sharks are too small to be placed with the adult sharks, with their introduction due to begin in the next couple of months. The Bamboo Cat Sharks usually grow to around 2-3ft in length and their diet consist mainly of crustaceans.
There is more success to be found at Skegness Aquarium’s breeding programme, with their hopes to raise their first seahorses later this year. The team are very excited about this and believe that the success of the sharks gives them the confidence that the seahorses will be a success too.
The centre also has a resident common octopus new for this year, following requests from visitors. It does not have a name yet but it is to be named in a competition. They are solitary creatures and so the octopus will be placed in a tank by itself. When fully grown, its tentacles could be a metre long!
Other brand new exhibits at the aquarium in 2017 will include creepy crawlies, giant Buffalo leeches that feed on blood, beautiful poisonous frogs, tree nymphs the size of a man’s hand, biting ants and much more.
These new additions will join the centres other marine life including rays, clownfish, crabs, red-eyed frogs, starfish, wrasse, phosphorescent and luminous tropical reef fish, frogfish, parrotfish, green moray, jellyfish, Japanese stinging sea nettle and much more.