Guide to ‘Mermaid Purse’ hunting
Search the shores for washed up shark and skate eggcases (also known as mermaid purses!) and help the Shark Trust.
WHAT REALLY IS A MERMAID PURSE?
Great question! Skates, and some species of shark, reproduce by laying eggs on the sea-bed. After several months these hatch and a miniature skate or shark emerges.
Once empty, the eggcases often get washed up on the beach and can be found among the seaweed in the strandline.
They come in all sorts of amazing shapes and sizes (see below). And because of this we can tell which species laid it.
BECOME A CITIZEN SCIENTIST
Eggcase hunting is great fun and you’ll be helping shark conservation at the same time.
So, head to the beach and take part in the Great Eggcase Hunt during the Homeward Bound Festival weekend.
Eggcases can be found all year round, so whatever the time of year keep an eye out!
It’s important to record which eggcases are found and where, because it helps find out where sharks are laying their young. The Shark Trust then work to protect these areas, which are known as shark nursery grounds. www.sharktrust.org is a great resource for those looking to learn more.
Family friendly beach walks and talks over the festival weekend