Here's our Education Demonstrator at the Aquarium, Clare Allen, to tell us about her favourite sea animal - the shark! We have some great shark-related activities coming up at World Museum, so read on to find out more...
Me and the rest of the aquarium team are busy gearing up for this years European Shark Week. We are particularly excited this year as we are screening the award-winning film 'Shark Water' as well as running some fantastic sharky activities. Every year we join up with The Shark Trust to put on activities for European Shark Week - find out about all our sharky fun this year on our 'Wonderful World' events page.
When people ask me what my favourite animal in the sea is I have to say the shark. They are truly amazing and charismatic animals, thought they are hugely misunderstood. They have been on this earth since before the dinosaurs and come in all shapes and sizes. My very favourite shark is the Whale Shark. Thought to grow over 20 meters in length it is the largest fish in the sea, but this gentle giant eats only plankton.
Loving sharks as I do, it makes me very sad to know that they are now struggling to survive with some species declining so much that only 5% remain. Around 100,000,000 sharks are killed every year mainly just for their fins, which are cut off and the dieing animal thrown back into the sea. This extremely cruel and wasteful process known as shark finning goes on to produce a delicacy called shark fin soup. Shark finning happens in this country as well as others, so this really is a local problem.
Unfortunately not everyone thinks of sharks the way I do so it is difficult to press to stop shark finning.
That is why during shark week we like to make a fuss about sharks and show people how wonderful and important they are to keep our seas healthy.
We will be running events from 15 - 23 October with our special guest Sean The Shark! These will include face painting, badge making and Sean's special show 'The Trouble With Sharks'. We'll also be making a giant underwater mural covered in sharks.
There will be free tickets for exclusive screenings of the film Shark Water. This film is not only captivating, action packed and full of breathtaking underwater footage but has a truly inspirational message about shark conservation as well as a very charismatic presenter.
I can't wait and I hope you'll join me to celebrate my favourite animal, the shark.