Shark Week

It’s that time of year…shark week! By the time this blog is posted, “shark week” on TV will be over. But we can still keep the spirit alive here!

While sharks are certainly not your average pet, they are creatures who can be trained by humans in order to live in better harmony. With that being said, this blog is to help alleviate some concerns (but not all) about sharks.

While sharks are definitely not going to be performing at Sea World anytime soon, efforts are being made to train sharks. Courageous trainers in British aquariums are starting to attempt to train sharks, with very promising results. How to train a shark is very similar to training dogs and dolphins, just with much more care.

The trainers use colored boards and signals for the sharks. When the sharks learn these signals, they will then approach the trainer, who holds a “target stick.” The sharks are then supposed to rub their noses against the stick. Once they have done this, the trainer gives them a treat. Thus, like any other training, the sharks are given positive reinforcement. However, no one should take this as a sign it’s safe to go out and adopt a shark!

While the sharks won’t be doing flips anytime soon, this training makes life a little easier for trainers. Training the sharks will make it easier to switch tanks when there needs to be cleaning done, or when a shark has outgrown a tank. This removes the need for putting the sharks under anesthesia to move them. Another possible outcome is that by training the sharks with sounds, they will appear for dinner. Now that is one major dinner bell.

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