15th June 2016
The Deep was last night awarded two Gold Awards at the BIAZA 50th Anniversary Dinner at Marwell Zoo - one in the Animal Breeding, Care and Welfare category and a second in the Conservation category.
The projects awarded were:
Breeding and rearing Zebra sharks (Animal Breeding, Care and Welfare) - This follows The Deep’s success in 2015 in becoming the first UK aquarium to successfully breed and rear Zebra sharks. The male and female at The Deep laid 10 eggs of which 6 juveniles successfully hatched. These juveniles represent 6 out of the 8 young to be born and raised in aquariums across Europe during 2015. These animals are all now part of the European Association for Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) breeding programme, helping to create new genetic populations and safeguarding the future of this species. Threatened by overfishing, habitat destruction, use in Chinese medicine and the shark fin soup industry, this species is classed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Redlist. To date 4 juvenile males have been transferred to zoos across the world including Oceanario De Lisboa, Acquario di Genova and Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, with the remaining two females staying here at The Deep.
Fen Raft Spider (Conservation) - Running throughout 2012/2013, The Deep was responsible for rearing 200 Fen Raft spiderlings as part of a species recovery programme. The spiderlings were hand reared in test tubes for 8 weeks before being released into the Mid-Yare and Castle Marshes nature reserves in Norfolk. The Fen Raft Spider is Britain’s largest and most endangered arachnid – which is now only seen in three locations. A dramatic rise in populations has been witnessed since the scheme and at present, no further intervention is needed.