BRISTOL AQUARIUM IN BID TO CONVERT SELACHOPHOBES*

*(people with a fear of sharks)

Staff at the Bristol Aquarium are organising a week-long ‘PR campaign’ to try and change the public’s perception of the much-misunderstood shark.

The Harbourside aquarium will be hosting ‘Shark Awareness Week’ from May 28th – June 5th in the hope of converting young people into shark lovers rather than shark haters.

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

As well as coming face to face with living members of the shark family ranging from native dogfish to leopard sharks, visitors to the aquarium will also be able to see a selection of shark and ray babies wriggling in their egg-cases.

They can find out what shark skin and sharks’ teeth actually feel like in daily ‘Shark Workshops’ and there will be displays by the Shark Trust – a UK shark conservation group along with other information on what we can all do to help save sharks.

Bristol Aquarium’s Mike Coe said: “In recent years shark numbers worldwide have plummeted as a result of overfishing, bycatch and other manmade factors.

“We’re hoping that the combination of fun facts, talks, feeding demonstrations and our own shark workshops will help to provide our visitors with a different view of these much-maligned predators.

“Sharks are always one of the most asked about creatures by visitors and we’re hoping that by providing a week-long event dedicated to these amazing fish we will be able to convert some more youngsters into shark loves rather than shark fearers,” he added.

British waters are visited by around 30 different species – including the world’s second largest, the basking shark, which can grow to 12 metres or more.