UAE Blacktip Reef Shark born in Sharjah Aquarium

UAE Blacktip Reef Shark born in Sharjah Aquarium
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Published August 22nd, 2010 - 09:40 GMT

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Mahmoud Deemas
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Kerwin Porter

Sharjah Aquarium, part of Sharjah Museums Department's (SMD) family of museums, has a new addition to its portfolio of aquatic creatures - a baby blacktip reef shark, named Amber.

Amber was born in the main tank exhibit of Sharjah Aquarium on Sunday, August 7, 2010. She is strong and healthy, measuring slightly over 50 cm in length, and fully formed. She has been kept in quarantine until she is large enough to be displayed before visitors.

Little is known about the shy blacktip reef sharks that are found close to the shores of Khor Fakkan on the East coast of Sharjah. Earlier this year, Sharjah Aquarium divers successfully collected Silver, a 1.34 metre long female blacktip reef shark from Shark Island, Khor Fakkan. Silver and over 250 different species of UAE marine species are on display at Sharjah Aquarium.

As part of the Aquarium's mission to conserve oceanic life, the display of the blacktip reef shark aims to strengthen awareness on the unsustainable destruction of species through over-fishing as well as the growing global trade in shark fins.

"There is a wealth of marine life off the two coasts of the UAE. As part of our primary mission to provide an ideal learning environment for our visitors, the Sharjah Museum Department showcases a diversity of marine species and raises awareness about their existence which is now sadly threatened," said Manal Ataya, Director General of SMD.

Kerwin Porter, Curator of Sharjah Aquarium, said: "Unfortunately the unique Shark Island is under threat. Many visitors leave behind rubbish, and fishermen leave nets and lines and garbage from their boats. Divers like to spear gun large fish which has resulted in a sharp decline in schools of Giant trevally and blacktip reef sharks."

Mahmoud Deemas, Marine Operations Supervisor at Sharjah Aquarium, said: "The whole team has immense respect for marine life. Yet, people still need to be educated about the fear of extinction of these species. Blacktip reef sharks are graceful and beautiful animals, and are very shy. We hope the display of Amber will provide visitors with an insight into the lives of the creatures and the dangers they face."

Sharjah Aquarium is committed to championing the cause for the protection and preservation of the marine environment, and raises as much awareness about it through its educational programs and exhibits. The black tip sharks are a major feature in Sharjah Aquarium's ocean exhibits and can be viewed from the two underwater acrylic viewing tunnels. The journey is designed to educate and entertain visitors.

The mission of Sharjah Aquarium is to encourage people of the Emirate of Sharjah and all visitors to cherish and conserve the beauty and wealth of the oceans. The museum provides a colourful, rich, and diverse undersea world that is home to a variety of marine life native to the seas around us. With over 250 species, there is so much to see - from the smallest clown fish and delicate seahorses to moray eels, rays and puffer fish. 

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