Short-term home for hammerhead sharks in Point Waterfront canal

  • 31 May 2013 | Ann Kunz | Category: Species

uShaka Sea World's William Mlambo feeds fish to the hammerhead sharks

Eight young hammerhead sharks being temporarily accommodated in the Point Waterfront canal are enjoying 24-hour protection courtesy of the Durban Point Waterfront Management Association.

The sharks were relocated to their interim home on 8 May and will remain there until they are large enough to be housed in one of uShaka Sea World's large display exhibits. They are being monitored by uShaka Sea World staff, who feed them and perform daily water quality tests. 

The eight hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini) arrived at uShaka Sea World in March, weighing less than 2kg each. While in their quarantine pool they began feeding on specially prepared fish gruel and steadily gained weight. 

Over the past two months the sharks have grown significantly on a diet of squid, sardines and prawns. It soon became evident that a larger home had to be found for them.

One of the hammerheads acquaints itself with the Point Waterfront canal

With its close proximity to uShaka Sea World, the Point Waterfront offered an ideal sanctuary for the sharks. Some serious brainstorming between the relevant authorities saw a plan take shape, and the sharks were soon enjoying their new environment.

The canal is also home to approximately 50 species of fish, including large shoals of spotted grunter, mullet, white karranteen, big blue-barred parrotfish, various kingfish species and a variety of surgeon species. Grazing fish such as surgeons, mullet and karranteen (strepie) were introduced by uShaka Sea World to manage algal growth in the canal. Cleaner wrasse keep the fish healthy!

The Point Development area is policed 24 hours a day, and all parts of the canal are visible on strategically placed CCTV cameras.

Hammerhead sharks are cartilaginous fish that are easily distinguishable from all other shark species due to their hammer-shaped heads.  


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