Our reef sharksAt our Haga Ocean aquarium at you can see the Blacktip Reef Shark, easily identified by the prominent black tip on its fin. You can also see the Sandbar Shark, easily distinguishable by its very high first dorsal fin. We have chosen the Blacktip Reef Shark because it is the most abundant reef sharks inhabiting tropical coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific oceans, and the Sandbar Shark as it is one of the biggest of the coastal sharks in the world.
Haga Ocean works in partnership with a renowned shark facility in the south of France. There, they have succeeded in breeding reef sharks in an aquarium environment. Our sharks at the Haga Ocean aquarium are “pups” from parent sharks in France. We intend to participate in this unique knowledge exchange and in the future we will develop and share our own knowledge about how sharks reproduce in aquarium environments. Looking to the future, this may prove to be vital in our efforts to conserve marine biodiversity.
Our coral reef at Haga Ocean.
The purpose of the coral reef at the Haga Ocean aquarium is to demonstrate a project we are working on to create new fossil reefs of limestone rock found on land. What could be better and more environmentally friendly than using Mother Nature’s own materials, namely porous limestone to create man made reefs? This type of limestone was formed a long ago in the sea, primarily through coral’s ability to absorb calcium and trace elements from seawater and coral and then to form solid limestone.
By adding back large amounts of limestone in the sea in a special way, we can create new reefs that quickly become overgrown by algae, corals and a huge amount of biological life that are looking for a place to live and to attach themselves to. At the same time large quantities crustaceans and fish life move in too. These are amazing environments for young fry, for example, to live and grow up in. There are a thousand good reasons why more reefs should be created when the coral reefs of tropical seas are the world’s most productive habitats for marine life.
In addition to our projects and research, we believe that all people should be able to see and understand what a tropical reef is and what it looks like. As there are relatively few who dive in tropical waters, this is the perfect way to show children and adults alike how a coral reef might appear 7-8 meters below the surface, with live reef sharks, shoals of fish, corals and algae. At best, perhaps a visit here will encourage some of our visitors to develop an interest in the sea and its inhabitants. It might even encourage some children to acquire a science education and continue to work on issues related to marine life environments.