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Myths and Misconceptions Exposed during Shark Week

22 November 2012

For immediate release

Myths and Misconceptions Exposed during Shark Week

Gain a different perspective on one of the world’s most misunderstood creatures at Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium as it celebrates Discovery Channel Shark Week from 24 November to 9 December.

Many Kiwis are wary of what lies beneath the waters at their favourite beach, and with summer fast approaching, Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium is reassuring them by dispelling common myths and misconceptions about sharks.

Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium General Manager, James Thomas, says, “We’re passionate about shark conservation and are excited to offer our visitors a chance a get up close and personal with New Zealand’s largest collection of sharks. It is important for us to teach visitors about how they can help to protect sharks for future generations, and Discovery Channel’s Shark Week provides a fun and interactive way to do this.”

A range of shark themed activities, including a quiz trail and colouring competition, explore the threats sharks face, as well as educating visitors about the importance of conserving these misunderstood marine animals.

Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium’s new Maori Pacifica themed shark tunnel is home to a total of 29 sharks of four different species, including School Shark, Grey Nurse Shark, Seven Gill Shark and Wobbegong.

Visitors will be able to watch the resident sharks being fed on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2.30pm, and take advantage of informative talks from experts about the sharks’ unique characteristics.

Visitors also have the opportunity to come face-to-face with sharks in the SDX experience offered at Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium. Both experienced and novice divers can scuba dive or be submerged in a cage within the shark tank for a thrilling experience.

Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium plays an active part in shark research, breeding and conservation and encourages visitors to sign their on-site petition to become involved with the global SEA LIFE campaign to ban shark-finning.

For more information about Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium, visit


Some facts about sharks

Which is the biggest shark? The Whale Shark. It can weigh as much as 14 tons – which is the same as 2 African elephants.

How long can some sharks live for? A shark’s lifespan varies by species although the majority of sharks live 20 to 30 years in the wild, there are some kinds that can live beyond 100 years.

Which is the smallest species of shark? The Dwarf Lantern Shark can only reach a maximum of 16cm.

How many sharks are killed a year by humans? 70,000,000 – 100,000,000.

What are baby sharks called? Pups – when a baby is born it must fend for itself in order to survive.

What is a shark’s skeleton made from? Sharks are cartilaginous fish, which means that their skeletons are made of cartilage, which is the same as a human’s ear and nose.

How long can a shark go without eating after a satisfying meal? A month.

How many species of shark how been discovered to date? Scientists have discovered 450 – 500 known species of shark but there are many still to be found.

How many teeth do sharks grow in their life time? Each time a shark loses one of its teeth it gets replaced with a new one from behind – a shark will lose, grow and replace thousands of teeth during its lifetime.

What organ helps a shark float in water? A shark’s liver is big, fat and oily which enables sharks to keep buoyant.

How big is a Megalodon Shark? 12 – 15 metres long.

The Shortfin Mako Shark is the fastest shark in the ocean, what is its top speed? 32 mph (51kph) – faster than a Killer Whale.

About Merlin Entertainments
MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment, and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. Europe’s Number 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates 90+ attractions, seven hotels/two holiday villages in 20 countries and across four continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 46 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 18,000 employees. Merlin currently has thirteen attractions in Australia and New Zealand including the stunning Mount Hotham and Falls Creek Ski Resorts in Victoria; WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo and WILD LIFE Hamilton Island; Madame Tussauds in Sydney; Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures and Otway Fly Treetop Adventures & Zip Line; the Sydney Tower Eye & SKYWALK; and Sydney Aquarium, Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary, Melbourne Aquarium, Underwater World in Mooloolaba, Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium in Auckland, underlining the company’s position as the world’s biggest global aquarium operator. Visit for more information.

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