Open 9:30am - 6pm daily. Last entries 5pm. Upcoming Events

Shark Artificial Insemination world first

Shark Artificial Insemination world first at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

Today, SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium aquarists and veterinary staff have made history with the birth of a Brown Banded Bamboo shark – the first ever shark in Australia to be born via artificial insemination. The pup also rewrites history on a global scale as the first shark pup born via live semen sample transported from one facility to another, highlighting the active role that the SEA LIFE network plays in Australian marine conservation. 

 

The Brown Banded Bamboo shark pup was born on Monday 3 March, measuring approximately 16 centimetres to a 1.5 metre female, believed to be around 10 years-old.

 

Led by SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium Research Consultant Dr Jon Daly, together with The Aquarium Vet Dr Rob Jones, this extraordinary advancement in artificial insemination is part of an ambitious nine year project into understanding the reproductive behaviours of sharks endemic to Australia and implementing captive breeding programs.

 

The female shark and her new newborn pup will continue to be closely monitored by SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium aquarists and veterinarian staff and will remain off public display in the aquarium’s shark nursery facility.

 

 

How does it all work?


The insemination process commenced on 23 September 2013, where the team expertly collected a semen sample from a male Brown Banded Bamboo shark at Underwater World SEA LIFE Mooloolaba , transported to SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium via air freight, where the female shark was inseminated the same day.

 

 

From the research team…


“A labour of love for the past nine years, we’re extremely proud and excited to see our hard work paying off with the birth of this Brown Banded Bamboo shark pup,” said Dr Jon Daly.

 

“It was a gallant team effort across the SEA LIFE attractions, from the divers who collected the sharks, to those involved with the insemination. There is however, a stringent observation process in place to ensure the pup makes it through this critical time,” said Dr Rob Jones.

 


More shark pups in the future?


The duo hopes to ultimately help manage threatened shark species in the wild – in particular, the critically endangered Grey Nurse shark. The Brown Banded Bamboo sharks are considered a surrogate species as they are more common and easier to work with than the Grey Nurse shark.

 

“With each insemination attempt, we continue to learn about the reproductive behaviours of Australian shark species. Hopefully we can use this technology as a basis for breeding Grey Nurse sharks in captivity and, in years to come, boost the species’ dwindling numbers in the wild,” said Dr Daly.

 

See all news
04
Feb
2016
SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium Welcomes First King Penguin Chick in 2016
New Resident – Adorable King Penguin Chick, Derrick! ... Read More
21
Jan
2016
SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium Releases Rehabilitated Sea Turtle
Rescued Sea Turtle Returns To The Wild ... Read More
12
Jan
2016
Rescued Sea Turtle Tests the Waters at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
Blair Prepares For Release ... Read More
07
Jan
2016
EGG-citing King Penguin News
First King Penguin Eggs for 2016 ... Read More
22
Dec
2015
Santa Dives into SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
Scuba Santa visits for the holidays ... Read More
08
Dec
2015
Challenge Families ‘Chill Out’ at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
A special party for some special kids! ... Read More
26
Nov
2015
Ocean Youth Ambassadors Prepare Rescued Sea Turtle for Release
Rescued Sea Turtle Blair Measures Up ... Read More
19
Nov
2015
SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium Welcomes New Eight-Legged Friend
Gustav the Octopus Puts Skills to the Test ... Read More
09
Nov
2015
Accessibility Weekend 2015
SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium is offering FREE entry for all visit... Read More
30
Oct
2015
New chicks in town at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
First sub-Antarctic Gentoo Penguin chicks of 2015 have arrived!... Read More

NOW SHOWING!

4D png logo

Join Scrat, Ice Age’s resident nut-crazed sabre-toothed squirrel, as he time travels in his zaniest adventure to date! Included in the admission price.

Find Out More!