03 June 2005

Shark breeding scheme to use artificial uteruses

The New South Wales Government is to start captive breeding of grey nurse sharks in an attempt to save the species.

It says fewer than 500 grey nurse sharks remain in the wild in New South Wales waters.

It is predicted the sharks could be extinct within the next 15 years.

The Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald, says the program will use specially constructed artificial uteruses to breed the sharks in captivity.

"If we can separate the embryos in-utero, we'll be able to raise far more pups than the shark can do artificially, due to the complicated nature of its breeding process," Mr Macdonald said.

"By separating that, we believe that survival rates will be much higher and can be eventually released into the wild to boost the numbers significantly."

Source: www.abc.net.au


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