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News release - Issued by The Deep

The Deep Wins Gold Awards at BIAZA Gala Dinner

The Deep was last night awarded two Gold Awards at the BIAZA 50th Anniversary Dinner at Marwell Zoo - one in the Animal Breeding, Care and Welfare category and a second in the Conservation category. Deep staff member James Denman also won the Photography category for his pictures of the Golden Mantella Frog.

The projects awarded were:

Breeding and rearing Zebra sharks – Animal Breeding, Care and Welfare

This follows The Deep’s success in 2015 in becoming the first UK aquarium to successfully breed and rear Zebra sharks. The male and female at The Deep laid 10 eggs of which 6 juveniles successfully hatched. These juveniles represent 6 out of the 8 young to be born and raised in aquariums across Europe during 2015.

These animals are all now part of the European Association for Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) breeding programme, helping to create new genetic populations and safeguarding the future of this species. Threatened by overfishing, habitat destruction, use in Chinese medicine and the shark fin soup industry, this species is classed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Redlist.

To date 4 juvenile males have been transferred to zoos across the world including Oceanario De Lisboa, Acquario di Genova and Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, with the remaining two females staying here at The Deep.

Fen Raft Spider – Conservation

Running throughout 2012/2013, The Deep was responsible for rearing 200 Fen Raft spiderlings as part of a species recovery programme. The spiderlings were hand reared in test tubes for 8 weeks before being released into the Mid-Yare and Castle Marshes nature reserves in Norfolk. The Fen Raft Spider is Britain’s largest and most endangered arachnid – which is now only seen in three locations. A dramatic rise in populations has been witnessed since the scheme and at present, no further intervention is needed.

Golden Mantella – Photography

Staff member James Denman won the photography award for his stunning pictures of the Golden Mantella frog, one of the most critically endangered species of frog in the world.

Katy Duke, Curator at The Deep said: “We are delighted to have received these awards. There was some really stiff competition in the categories so to have our projects honoured is great news for us and for Hull. The team behind the scenes work very hard every day and their passion always shines through. They are constantly striving to improve their expertise, so for our projects to be recognised, is a real milestone.”

Dr Kirsten Pullen, Director of BIAZA, said, “The standard of award submissions was incredibly high this year and I’m delighted that The Deep has achieved two Gold awards for their fantastic work in breeding zebra sharks and also the Fen Raft spider project, plus also winning the Photography award.

“As we celebrate 50 years of ‘Working Together for Wildlife’ we have an opportunity to reflect on the incredibly important work do in conservation and the significant contributions our members make in educating the public about our natural world and inspiring them to protect it. The zoo and aquarium community has come an incredibly long way since the Association came into being, but we must continuously strive to improve. This event has provided us with an opportunity to bring our members together to remind ourselves of how far we have come and re-inforce our commitment to animal welfare, conservation, education and scientific research.”


Notes to editors:

For more information, please contact Becky Leach, Marketing Manager at The Deep on 01482 381092 or email


The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) is a conservation, education and wildlife charity (charity no. 248553). Founded in 1966, it represents over 100 member organisations including all the significant zoos and aquariums in Britain and Ireland. Its vision is ‘to be a powerful force in the care and conservation of the natural world’ and its mission is to support and lead its members:

- to inspire people to help conserve the natural world
- to participate in effective co-operative conservation programmes
- to deliver the highest quality environmental education, training and research
- to achieve the highest standards of animal care and welfare in zoos, aquariums and in the wild

BIAZA media contact

Zoe Williamson, Communications and Membership Manager
Tel : 07710 579261