Scientists have discovered a rare shark nursery about 200 nautical miles from the west coast of Ireland.
The announcement was made at the Seabed Mapping seminar in Kinsale on Thursday, reports BreakingNews.ie.
The discovery took place in July during a recent SeaRover survey carried out by the Marine Institute (ROV) Holland 1 remote-controlled car deployed on board ILV Granuaile.
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A large number of eggs, called sea dolls, were filmed on the sea floor at a depth of 750 meters.
There was a large Blackmouth catshark school (Galeus melastomus) on site, and it is believed that eggs are of this kind. Also, a second unusual and lonely species, Oxynotus paradoxus, probably fed on eggs, was observed, although scientists said they did not.
Both species are "red" listed at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Ireland is required to monitor deep-sea sharks under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Irish Times said.
A shark nursery was observed in one of the six Irish coastal areas of Special Protection Areas (SACs) designated under the EU Habitats Directive for Cliffs listed in Annex 1.
Scientists have said that such a high concentration of egg cases is "rarely recorded and suggests that women can gather in this area on the seabed to lay eggs".
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David Oulu, of INFOMAR, and chief research scientist of SeaRover (Sensitive Ecosystems Analysis and ROV Exploration of Reef Habitat), said that the kindergarten was on a scale of "previously unprocessed in Irish waters".
"This discovery shows the importance of documentation of sensitive marine habitats and gives us a better understanding of the biology of these beautiful animals and their ecosystem functions in the biologically sensitive area of Ireland," he said.