Christmas songs played to sharks

Published: 30 Dec 2008 10:00

‘Oddball’ tests to see how creatures react to Slade classic

THERE is some fin fishy about research being carried out at an aquarium, an animal activist has claimed.

Christmas classics are being played to sharks, rays and all sorts of sea life in what has been described as an 'oddball' scientific experiment.

But John Robins, of Animal Concern, has questioned the validity of the probe, saying it is an empty trick to get more customers in over the festive period.

The attractions at Loch Lomond Aquarium will have to put up with such crackers as Slade"s Merry Christmas Everybody in an attempt to have a Great White Christmas.

Marine biologists at the centre are adamant that there is a concrete reason behind the event.

But the animal rights campaigner disagrees.

Mr Robins told the Reporter: 'This is clearly a publicity stunt, there is nothing that is really being looked into with this.

'It just seems to be an attempt to get people in the door.

'When I saw it originally, I thought it was a joke, but if the aquarium is claiming it is a serious piece of scientific research then we should treat it like that.'

The experiment is being carried out to see how the fish react to different types of music.

Mark Hind, supervisor of the aquarium, explained the reasoning behind the experiment at the centre.

He told the Reporter: 'There has been a lot of research to see how sea animals react to music, and this is just part of that. Although it is a serious piece of scientific research, it is also a bit of fun for the visitors.

'At the end of it all we are hoping to get all the information back to see how sharks - who have super sensitive hearing - reacted to the different volumes, tones and rhythms of the music.

'It is to see if anything in relation to this can help prevent shark attacks.

'But it is pretty oddball - and it also gives us an excuse to play Slade - as if we really needed one.'

The Loch Lomond Aquarium is holding the tests, along with Sea Life facilities up and down the country, during the Christmas and new year period.

But, this justification has been slammed by animal activist Mr Robins.

He said: 'It is well known that fish, especially sharks, can pick up the vibrations of music through their bodies.

'Because of this, the experiment could quite possibly disturb them more than anything.'

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