Sharks on a plane

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Yesterday, Cairns Marine sent two Stegostomas, or Leopard sharks, and three White tip reef sharks to be showcased at the Dallas Aquarium.

It marks the company's first export shipment since it became the first organisation to gain Marine Aquarium Council accreditation. The requirements are onerous but then, as Ryan Donnelly explains, the cargo is pretty unique.

"These ones were sourced out on the Great Barrier Reef and they'll be showcasing Australia's icon to a very large audience," Mr Donnelly said.

"These particular species are a docile type and can actually be hand caught, there's no need for any fishing activity. They can actually be cuddled and nurtured to the surface and they adapt very well to a captive environment," he said.

"The educational material that accompanies all specimens that go to public aquaria forms part of our philosophy of conversation through education. When people go to visit a public aquarium, they leave wiser to understanding the animals they see."