[Eggcase hunting © sghaywood photography.]

Great Eggcase Hunt

The Shark Trust needs your help!

The Shark Trust is asking for your help to find shark eggcases, otherwise known as mermaid’s purses, which have been washed ashore on our beaches.

What is an eggcase, you may ask? Well, skates, and some species of shark, reproduce by laying eggcases (ovoparity). Each eggcase contains a developing embryo and, after several months of resting on the sea bed, a miniature baby skate or shark emerges.

Often these empty eggcases will then get washed up on the beach and can be found among the seaweed in the strandline. They come in all shapes and sizes and because they are so different, we can tell the species of shark it came from.

It is important to record which eggcases are found and where, because it helps us to find out where these sharks are laying their young. Using this information we can then work to protect these areas, which are known as shark nursery grounds.

Next time you’re at the beach, why not help the Great Eggcase Hunt by searching for eggcases and letting us know what you find. Alternatively why not ask your teacher or a parent to arrange an Eggcase Hunt at a beach near you. For more information, including how to identify your eggcase and hunting tips, visit our Great Eggcase Hunt Project page.

Eggcases can be found all year round, so whatever the time of year remember to keep an eye out. The strandline or the back of the beach are the best places to find eggcases, washed up amongst the flotsam and jetsam. You can report your eggcase findings to us online.

Happy eggcase hunting!