Conservation egg hunt helps inform research

Volunteers search for shark and ray eggcases on Lytham beach as part of conservation work.

Volunteers search for shark and ray eggcases on Lytham beach as part of conservation work.

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We’re all going on a shark egg hunt – but we’re not scared...

Conservationists and volunteers scouring Fylde coast beaches for shark and ray egg cases are ensuring species can be properly protected.

Lytham beach was filled with volunteers foraging for the unusual looking cases on Sunday afternoon as part of a project run by The Co-operative, Shark Trust and Sea Life Centre Blackpool, to inform conservation work.

More than 100 ‘hunters’ uncovered around 130 egg cases in the Great Eggcase Hunt, the majority of which were from the Thornback Ray – a flattened body ray.

Conservation officer Cat Gordon said: “The hunt is a fantastic way for people to get involved in conservation.

“Eggcases can help shed light on the distribution of nursery grounds.

“Enthusiasm for this project has enabled us to improve our knowledge of vulnerable egglaying species.”

UK waters are home to shark, skate and ray species, many of which have experienced population declines in recent years.

The Great Eggcase Hunt is one of the UK’s most popular marine volunteer recording programmes.

Martin Sutcliffe, head of the Juvenile Ray Nursery at Sea Life, said: “Hopefully we inspired people to keep searching and recording finds.

We have a fantastic display at Sea Life and offer daily talks and feeding times to help our visitors learn more about these fantastic animals.”

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