Every single fin and flipper at Sea Life Manchester is being counted this week as part of its annual stock check that takes over three weeks to complete.
1,431 sea creatures have been counted so far, with schools of new additions showing that romance between the waves is riding high with a swell of new babies for 2018.
It seems the Barton Square based aquarium in Manchester is the real Love Island, with aquarists developing a unique system to mark the steamy-windowed tanks of frisky fish by stickering ‘hot spots’ to document breeding rates across the aquarium.
Critically endangered species, Banggai Cardinal fish, have had a baby boom with 9 baby fish successfully added to the aquarium’s breeding programme.
This is a significant result for the fish, endangered in the wild, and raises hope for the future of this very rare species giving a huge boost to the aquariums’ captive breeding and conservation programmes.
Also making a splash are two Blue-spotted Ribbontail stingrays, the result of a successful breeding year for the distinctive looking ray. Affectionately named Muffin and Pancake, the two baby rays have inherited the species’ characteristics of super large protruding eyes, a striking colour pattern of electric blue spots and a pair of blue stripes on the tail.
Head Curator, Alan Kwan said: “Counting thousands of sea creatures is a mammoth task! It is hugely rewarding to see that our hard work has paid off with plenty of new additions in this years’ stock check.”
“We’re incredibly excited about the Banggai Cardinal fish – as the team at Sea Life Manchester work tirelessly to ensure that we are contributing to the conservation of endangered species like these.
“We are extremely proud that our visitors in 2018 will also get to witness and share with us the success stories of our captive breeding programme.” Continues Alan.
The Banggai Cardinal fish will join the rest of the creatures on display at the aquarium over the coming months, once they are a little bigger.