Shark stolen from fishkeeper's shed

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Shark stolen from fishkeeper's shed

 

An Australian marbled catshark, Atelomycterus macleayi, has been stolen from a private aquarium in Hampshire.

The shark's owner, Peter Newman of Farnborough told Reuters that the fully-grown female, which was 60cm/24 in length, was part of the only breeding pair in the country and said the fish was worth 10,000 alone, or 50,000 as part of the pair.

We think whoever stole it might come back and try and take the male or we'll get a ransom demand for the female, Newman told Reuters.

The theft took place sometime between 5pm on Friday 25th July and 10am on Saturday 26th July from Newman's shed, in which the shark aquarium is kept.

We believe this may have been a targeted burglary of a shark that is extremely rare in the UK, said PC Stephen Court of Farnborough police station.

The victim is desperate for the fish to be returned and we urge anyone with information about the burglary to contact us.

Due to the unusual type of shark it will be difficult to sell in this country.

Mr Newman imported the marbled sharks, which gave birth to six pups earlier this year, from Indonesia four years ago.

I'm interested in shark scientific research, he said. I've been involved in conservation issues in the Philippines and Indonesia where a lot of fisherman use cyanide to kill sharks.

Marine fish importer Tropical Marine Centre told Practical Fishkeeping that the Australian morph of Atelomycterus macleayi is rarely imported and commands a slightly higher price than the more common variety from Indonesia, which it imports.

Hampshire police are asking anyone with information to contact PC Court at Farnborough police station on 0845 045 45 45, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.