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Museum visitors get ‘hands-on’ experience with sharks

Calvert Marine Museum's 2017 Sharkfest
Solomons, MD -
It’s an event that now spans two generations and Saturday, July 8 Calvert Marine Museum (CMM) visitors had an opportunity to again get their hands—actually only two fingers—on some popular sea dwellers. The museum’s 2017 Sharkfest featured several live species swimming about in makeshift aquariums at Corbin Pavilion. Dozens of visitors—mostly small children and their parents—waited their turns to get a glimpse of the horn shark, chained dogfish, clear-nose skate and Atlantic sturgeon on display. Museum personnel and representatives from the NRG Energy’s Chalk Point Aquaculture Center in Aquasco supervised the presentations.

What first-time visitors to Sharkfest come to learn is that sharks often get a bad rap. Not all sharks are aggressive. The horn shark is an example that travels slowly and only bites if provoked. Another fascinating creature on display, the chain dogfish or chain catshark, is harmless and is bio-fluorescent. That second trait—which manifests itself in a green glow—aids the fish in spotting potential predators in the water.

The Atlantic sturgeon, which frequents the Chesapeake Bay, is a threatened fish species that the aquaculture center has focused on restoring. According to NRG officials, there are numerous year classes of Atlantic sturgeon being raised at Chalk Point and used for studies and research for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the University of Maryland.

At CMM, visitors will find plenty of evidence of sharks’ presence in the Chesapeake Bay dating back several hundred million years.

Tidewater Dental provided some real fun for the younger Sharkfest attendees—a giant inflated shark slide. Captain Smith’s Seafood and Rita’s Ice provided food and refreshment to the human visitors.

Calvert Marine Museum has convenient visitor hours and reasonable admission fees. In addition to artifacts, come see the river otters. Visit the CMM web site for more details.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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