Scientists discovered a rare shark "nursery" with thousands of egg cases or "mermaid's purses
" deposited on coral skeletons in the waters 200 miles off the western Irish coast. The discovery was made by a remotely operated vehicle exploring the region's cold-water coral reefs.
Marine community engagement officer for north Merseyside, Sally Tapp, said: "It is always a joy to see the look on children's faces when they discover that these mysterious mermaid's purses
are actually the eggs laid by sharks, skates and rays.
Conservationists are urging beach goers to look out for the species' empty egg cases, known as mermaid's purses
, so that they can take action to protect the last nursery grounds around Wales.
The hunt for eggcases, which are sometimes referred to as mermaid's purses
, was organised in response to the decline in skate and ray found in UK waters.
They get laid in Mermaid's Purses
, and then they pop out and hide in the sea bed when they're born.
A sight to sea; James Milne, seven, took his mum, Lisa, dad, Ronald, brother Jack, five, and sister, Adele, three, to the Macduff Marine Aquarium. Again