|Return Of The Herring!|
Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary visitors are once again being dazzled by a spectacular shoal of herring in one of the most famous aquarium tanks in Europe.
The Centre's huge doughnut-shaped herring ring was a major innovation when it was first unveiled 30 years ago, since when more than four million people have stood on the platform at its centre and been surrounded by constantly moving fish.
For the past three years, however, those fish have not been herring.
"We've relied on the annual spawning that brings baby herring into Loch Creran to supply us with sufficient herring of the right size to stock our herring ring," explained manager Alex Blackman, "and for the past three years they have failed to appear."
This summer's influx of literally millions of herring into the Loch will therefore have come as a relief to marine conservationists as well as to Alex and his team.
"We scooped up about 10,000 in no time at all just by throwing a net out from the loch edge," said Alex, "and the shoal was so big this barely made any impression on it all."
Scottish fisheries officials sanctioned the modest trawl in light of the herring ring's educational value.
"We've had trout in the herring ring temporarily, but they just can't compare with that massive silvery shoal in their perpetual circuit," said Alex.
As they grow, the shoal will be regularly thinned out to prevent overcrowding, with those extracted moving to other display tanks and even to other SEA LIFE centre.
"By this time next year we will probably have only 1,000 or so in the herring ring, and they will have swum almost the equivalent of a 25,000 miles circuit of the globe without going anywhere," said Alex.
Issued by The Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary|
For more details, please contact Alex Blackman on 01631 720386
Press Release date: November 2009
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