Scientists desperate for reluctant sharks to mate plan to pipe the romantic music of Mozart, Beethoven and Puccini into their north-west England aquarium tank.

Display supervisor Carey Duckhouse says 20-year-old male brown shark Bloodnose has spurned the advances of 15-year-old Lucy since they were introduced a year ago at the Blackpool Sea Life Centre.

She says other sharks have also turned out to be cold fish.

"We want to play them the kind of soft and emotional music that inspires powerful emotions in humans," she said.

"We hope it's going to put them in a passionate frame of mind and get them mating."

They will be serenaded with classical greats such as Mozart's Romanze, Puccini's Nessun Dorma and Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, which will be played through speakers over the open-topped tank.

The aquarists turned to classical music after having failed to put the sharks in the mood to mate with the love songs of late soul singer Barry White.

Ms Duckhouse says the attempt may seem "a little bit nutty" and "a long shot" but a US study found fish could listen and process melodies like human beings.

"We will be looking for any noticeable change in behaviour to see if Bloodnose gets a little more amorous towards Lucy," she said.

"Hopefully they will mate and maybe this time next year, we will be caring for six or seven little sharks."

Bloodnose may be slowing down with age, as brown sharks usually live for around 25 years.

They are are found in the tropical waters of the west Atlantic and Mediterranean, but are not considered man-eaters and are rarely involved in attacks on humans.