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  • Writer's pictureMermaid Seren

Fishy February; A-Z of a Mermaid's Friends (Z)

Z - Zebra Shark

But shouldn’t a Zebra Shark have stripes?! Zebra Sharks are a type of Carpet Shark (so called, due to their resemblance of ornately patterned carpets, and the way they glide along the bottom of the ocean)! When they’re born, they have striped bodies but as they grow, these stripes turn into spots! They’re around 3m long and weigh between 20-30kg. Zebra Sharks have flattened bodies, and long tail fins which help them to be more agile in the water. Despite the myth, not all sharks have to keep moving in order to stay alive. These sharks breathe easily while on the sea floor. They tend to be found down to about 62m. Zebra Sharks are nocturnal, and actively hunt for molluscs, crustaceans and small bony reef fish at night. To help them seek out prey, they have “barbels” at the front of their snouts, which are sensory organs that look like a cat’s whiskers. Zebra Sharks are very docile and do not pose a threat the humans. They are considered to be Endangered by the IUCN. They are hunted for their meat, fins and liver oil - which is used for making vitamins. How Can You Help? • If there’s no demand for Shark Fin Soup, sharks stand a better chance of survival. Report Shark Fin on menus to Bite Back; Shark Conservation • Check your labels! Are you buying sustainable fish? Sharks are often killed when they’re caught up in the nets of commercial fishing operations. Check out the Good Fish Guide by the Marine Conservation Society


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