S.E.A. Aquarium Society Event: learning about Sharks in Singapore

Sharks are one of the most misunderstood marine animals, largely due to them being portrayed as mindless man-eaters in many movies. To educate people on this misconception, S.E.A. Aquarium Society hosted an event at the Aquarium on 16 August 2017, titled ‘Sharks in Singapore’.

Participants got the rare opportunity to learn about sharks directly from shark experts, such as Dr Neil Hutchinson from James Cook University Singapore who is currently examining the distribution of bamboo sharks around Singapore, Kathy Xu from The Dorsal Effect, and aquarist Muhammad Izzat who takes care of sharks at S.E.A. Aquarium.

Jim Hudson, Senior Manager of Conservation at S.E.A. Aquarium, started the presentations with an overview of S.E.A. Aquarium Society and what it hopes to achieve.
S.E.A. Aquarium Society Event: Sharks in Singapore
Nivedha, also from the Conservation and Education team, debunked some common myths about sharks.
S.E.A. Aquarium Society Event: Sharks in Singapore
Dr Neil Hutchinson spoke about the biology of sharks before moving on to the species of sharks in Singapore waters. According to him, about 20 species of sharks have been seen or caught in our waters.
If you have spotted a bamboo shark in Singapore, visit this site to help Dr Hutchinson and his team better understand their distribution pattern here.

The Dorsal Effect runs sustainable eco tours in Lombok, Indonesia. Former shark fishermen are provided an alternative livelihood of taking tourists on snorkelling and conservation trips instead of going shark hunting. Founder Kathy Xu gave a heartfelt presentation about her journey with The Dorsal Effect and the immense challenges she faces to date.

It was the heart-wrenching sight of dead sharks and the overpowering smell of death she encountered in Lombok that spurred Kathy to start The Dorsal Effect.

Did you know that there are 16 species of sharks at the S.E.A. Aquarium? And that an ultrasound scan is the fastest and easiest way to verify if a shark is pregnant? These were just two of the many interesting facts aquarist Muhammed Izzat shared with the participants.

S.E.A. Aquarium Society Event: Sharks in Singapore
Muhammad Izzat also told the participants how he and his fellow aquarists had to spend 4 hours each day to maintain one habitat, on top of feeding the fishes with a high-protein diet of fish, squid, prawns and clams.

The aquarium’s curatorial team also set up a booth showcasing some of the equipment used when diving into the Shark Seas habitat for cleaning and feeding purposes.

S.E.A. Aquarium Society Event: Sharks in Singapore
There were replicas of shark jaws and real shark teeth on display. These teeth are shed naturally throughout their lives.

There was even a small habitat featuring a baby shark.
A young participant tried on a chainmail which shark aquarists wear prior to entering the Shark Seas habitat.

A big thank you to all S.E.A. Aquarium Enthusiasts who attended the event. If you’re not yet a S.E.A. Aquarium Enthusiast, click here to sign up and be invited to monthly events like this in the future.

Next up, we have a beach cleanup on 23 September 2017 and we would like you to join us at this meaningful activity. Click here to sign up

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