Baby sharks hatch at Falmouth Marine School
The first native cold water shark babies have hatched at Falmouth Marine School as part of a sponsored student project.
The branded Dogfish sharks, which are found throughout the Atlantic Ocean, are part of a breeding programme at Falmouth Marine School, sponsored by Merlin aquarium entertainment.
Students studying Marine Biology & Ecology BTEC extended diploma have been working with Merlin aquarium entertainment to hatch the baby sharks as part of their investigative project.
Programme Manager, Craig Baldwin said: “These are the first native baby sharks to successfully hatch at the Marine School so we are all extremely excited. We have exotic sharks and other exotic species in the tanks but for the students to hatch their own native species, the teaching opportunities are taken to a whole new level.”
The baby sharks, kindly donated by Plymouth’s National Marine Aquarium arrived at Falmouth Marine School in egg cases, or mermaid's purses, four months ago; so far five have hatched and are doing well. Once grown they will be moved to the new four metre native marine tank and join the collection of Pacific and Indian Ocean sharks kept at the in the Marine Educational Laboratory, which is now one of the largest in England.
Marine Biology and Ecology student, Luke Plummer from Liskeard said: “We’ve tried to hatch sharks before but it’s never worked so this is so exciting. It has been quite a tense wait but we were delighted when the first babies started hatching out."
The Marine Biology and Ecology teaching area has recently been expanded. It now comes complete with a conference centre, a specialist laboratory for micro biology, water quality, environment rehabilitation and culture of marine organisms; and an aquatic centre, which the students develop during their course, includes sharks, corals, Seahorses, piranhas and octopus.
David Stedman, Head of Falmouth Marine School said: “These additional facilities will enhance the student experience, something we value very highly at Falmouth Marine School. We are a specialist college that offers entry level to degree level courses, including apprenticeships, many of which are not offered anywhere else in the county. This development will allow us to grow our specialist provision and hopefully we’ll see more marine species hatching in our new laboratories.”