Shark and Ray Day at the Aquarium

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Shark and Ray Day at the Aquarium

Kure Beach, N.C. —Flip the script on what you think you know about sharks. The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher focuses on facts about these important and charismatic creatures during Shark and Ray Awareness Day, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, July 30.

Of the more than 1,000 species of shark and ray species known globally, approximately a quarter are threatened with extinction; while information about many other species is insufficient. Yet these, animals are critical to the health of the ocean. 

“Shark and Ray Awareness Day is about fact not fiction and highlights the Aquarium’s conservation research to help save sharks,” says Aquarium Educator Gail Lemiec. “Sharks are often portrayed negatively in movies and media. They are apex predators in the ocean, but people are not on the menu for sharks. They are vital components of our marine ecosystem and help to keep the ocean healthy and balanced.”

During Shark and Ray Awareness Day, aquarium guests can do a deep dive learning more about these animals from the aquarium educators and animal care team. Compare body shapes and sizes of bonnethead, sandbar and sand tiger sharks as they swim by. Feel the rough skin of bamboo sharks, covered in specially shaped scales called denticles. Explore more of the aquarium with the shark-themed scavenger hunt.

Shark and ray feedings, activities and games will run throughout the day. Award-winning shark photographer, Tanya Houppermans, will also present her stunning images and shares her underwater experiences in a special presentation at noon.

In addition, visitors can learn more about ongoing shark research led by N.C. Aquariums scientists. Recent findings show evidence of sand tiger sharks (Carcharias taurus) returning to shipwrecks off the North Carolina coast, a behavior known as site fidelity. Understanding these and other shark behaviors helps inform conservation efforts both locally and globally. 

Shark Awareness Day is included with N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher admission. For more information visit


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