VISITORS to Blue Planet Aquarium will be able to come face to face with 30 species of sharks and rays during Shark Week from October 11-19.

Using a mixture of exhibitions, talks, diving demonstrations and fun activities, the week aims to dispel many of the popular misconceptions of sharks as mindless man-eaters by showing the facts behind the fiction.

The Ellesmere Port aquarium is home to the largest shark collection in Europe and visitors can enjoy close encounters with everything from dogfish and bamboo sharks to bizarre-looking zebra sharks and three-metre-long sand tigers.

Divers collect close to 3,000 teeth a year from the giant 3m litre Caribbean Reef exhibit and visitors will also have a chance to inspect some of these teeth at close range.

Sand tiger sharks are constantly replacing blunt, damaged or old teeth and it has been estimated a single shark can have up to 30,000 teeth in a lifetime.

There will also be the chance to view a Shark Nursery – home to egg-cases, or mermaid’s purses, and newly-hatched baby sharks.

There’s also an exciting Shark Trail, competitions and displays by the Shark Trust – a UK shark conservation group – along with other information on what we can all do to help save sharks.

Shark talks and tours will provide the opportunity to experience hands-on encounters with everything from shark jaws, teeth and skin to dried egg cases.

Park director Andy Hygate said: “Shark Week is a unique chance for visitors to really get under the skin of sharks.

“Our aim is to dispel some of the many myths surrounding these much-misunderstood creatures and to highlight the importance of conserving the oceans’ ultimate predator.

“We guarantee that everyone who comes along will see sharks in a completely different light.”

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