Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Shark and Ray Day coming to N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher, learn more about these often misunderstood creatures

Visitors can touch some of the smaller sharks at the Fort Fisher Aquarium (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)
Visitors can touch some of the smaller sharks at the Fort Fisher Aquarium (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)

Kure Beach — Sharks might have a fearsome reputation but the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher focuses is helping shed some light on these often misunderstood fish on Shark and Ray Day.

There are more than 1,000 different types of sharks and rays are known worldwide and about 25% of those are threatened with extinction.

“Shark and Ray Awareness Day is about fact not fiction and highlights the Aquarium’s conservation research to help save sharks,” says Aquarium Educator Gail Lemiec. “Sharks are often portrayed negatively in movies and media. They are apex predators in the ocean, but people are not on the menu for sharks. They are vital components of our marine ecosystem and help to keep the ocean healthy and balanced.”

The event will take place on July 30, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the aquarium and visitors will have a chance to get up close and personal with several shark species housed at the aquarium.

The Aquarium at Fort Fisher has more than just sharks on display (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)
The Aquarium at Fort Fisher has more than just sharks on display (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)

“During Shark and Ray Awareness Day, aquarium guests can do a deep dive learning more about these animals from the aquarium educators and animal care team. Compare body shapes and sizes of bonnethead, sandbar and sand tiger sharks as they swim by. Feel the rough skin of bamboo sharks, covered in specially shaped scales called denticles. Explore more of the aquarium with the shark-themed scavenger hunt,” according to a press release.

“In addition, visitors can learn more about ongoing shark research led by N.C. Aquariums scientists. Recent findings show evidence of sand tiger sharks (Carcharias taurus) returning to shipwrecks off the North Carolina coast, a behavior known as site fidelity. Understanding these and other shark behaviors helps inform conservation efforts both locally and globally,” the release concludes.


 

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