Shark baby boom a boost for Daydream Island

BABY BOOM: The birth rate of bamboo sharks has fluctuated rapidly on Daydream Island.
BABY BOOM: The birth rate of bamboo sharks has fluctuated rapidly on Daydream Island.

DAYDREAM Island is in the midst of a baby boom, with a record number of bamboo sharks born in the island's Living Reef lagoon.

A total of 44 sharks have been born in the aquarium over the past two months, with another four still to hatch.

"That's double the best bamboo shark breeding season we've had in the past," Daydream Island Living Reef manager John Gaskell said.

"We also have our first baby epaulette shark born on Daydream Island and a second still to hatch in the coming weeks. We are extremely proud and excited to see the birth of so many baby sharks in the Living Reef."

The bamboo shark lays transparent eggs that look like oblong cocoons.

The eggs take about 14 weeks to hatch, and when born, the pups are about 15cm in length and will grow up to a metre.

Mr Gaskell said a milder winter last year and improved care techniques by Living Reef staff had led to Daydream's bumper bamboo shark breeding season.

"With our baby epaulette shark, the parents Mr and Mr Freckles have both just become mature so this is the first time we've seen a fertilised egg on Daydream," he said.

The baby shark boom comes as Daydream has made improvements to the Living Reef, including upgrades of the north lagoon, increasing water flow and an upgrade to the south lagoon's filtration.

"We have improved the filtration and pumping system to produce about another 50 per cent total volume of water going into the north lagoon," Mr Gaskell said.

"It's made a big difference in the flow and salinity and temperature changes and will help ensure the health of the lagoon."

Topics:  daydream island

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