SEA LIFE Blackpool is the home of the UK's first national juvenile ray nursery, which is part of a new breeding programme aimed at protecting Britain’s native ray population. The nursery facility is specially designed to nurture baby rays from infancy through to adulthood.
The expert Aquarists care for and monitor the progress of the babies which live in the ray breeding pool before they join the adults in the large ray display. The new nursery is currently home to 45 nine - eighteen month old baby Thornback rays which each measure 15cm in length and will grow up to measure one metre and weigh up to 4kg.
Once mature the rays (or skates) will be transported to SEA LIFE Centres across Europe as part of the on-going breeding programme, which aims to produce enough captive-bred rays to keep aquariums stocked with these incredible creatures.
The breeding programme aims to breed all types of native ray but particularly the rare and endangered Undulate ray which can now only be found off the south coasts of England and Ireland. Apart from the seriously threatened giant skate, the undulate ray is the scarcest of the species living around the UK and officially classed as endangered.
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