Shark Gets New Home In Portsmouth

A one and a half metre long British Shark's settling into her new home at the Blue Reef Aquarium.

The starry smooth hound shark was given to the aquarium by a local fisherman. It's one of the largest sharks of its kind to go on show at the Southsea aquarium.

Blue Reef's Lindsay Holloway said: "Starry smooth hounds are one of the UK's most attractive species of shark. Their body is covered in white spots and they definitely have that typical, shark-like appearance with the prominent dorsal fin.

"This particular shark species has relatively little commercial value for fishermen and they often end up being used as bait for other fish.

"This specimen is definitely a fully grown adult and appears to be in excellent condition. We have been monitoring her in our quarantine area for the last week but the plan is to transfer her into our native shark and ray display in the next day or so," he added.

Starry smooth hounds are found in coastal waters all around the British Isles, in the Mediterranean and as far south as the Cape of Good Hope. As their name suggests they have a relatively smooth skin compared to other shark species which is covered with white star-like spots.

They normally spend their time in water up to 150 metres deep but come inshore to breed.

In the wild they feed on a diet of crustaceans using their flat, slab-like teeth to grind up the shells of their prey. Fully grown they can reach lengths of one-and-a-half metres.

The litter size varies with some individuals giving birth to up to 30 young. Once born the youngsters remain in the shallow waters while the parents return to the open ocean.