The Chiloscyllium plagiosum, Also known as the White Spotted Bamboo Shark, some will probably be surprised that this is a shark. It prefers to stay on the bottom of the Coral Reef and prefers hunt for its food, mostly invertebrates like crabs, at night. Some will probably not – those who have visited public aquarium have seen this shark and those who kept sat water or marine aquariums will be familiar with this shark.
Unfortunately, the demands for the Chiloscyllium both for the aquarium trade and for food have made it into an endangered member of our world. And if the Chilloscyllium eventually disappears it will have an effect on the coral reef.
What is interesting about this particular batch of Chiloscyllium is that they have been cultured – bred and reared in the public aquarium of the Manila Ocean Park (MOP). Even more interesting is this is an F2 batch- meaning this is the 2nd generation that have been raised in the waters of a public aquarium. So this means the rehabilitation of the Chiloscyllium is eventually possible, which is a good thing.
The release was done in Calatagan, Batangas and the process was interesting. Starting with the transfer from Manila Ocean Park to Calatagan; to the acclimatation of the sharks in Calatagan – involving monitoring water parameters and the sharks’ health; the tagging of the Chiloscyllium by the team from BFAR-NDRI; the final seminar and briefing with community representatives prior to the release; and the release itself both offshore and in the nearby reef.
And it does not end there. The team from MOP and its partners – the Provincial Government of Batangas; the Municipal Government and Community of Calatagan;
BFAR NFRDI And CAP-Ocean- plan to go back to monitor the fate of the sharks. With the continuing breeding of the Chiloscyllium in the public aquarium this seems poised to be a continuous thing.
Let us hope so.
Here are some snaps from the release.
Tagged Bamboo Sharks