shark tagged posts

Shark Week may be hurting, not helping, its namesake creature

Now in its 33rd year, Shark Week is the longest-running cable event in history reaching 27 million viewers—a gigantic audience for marine biologists and conservationists. Discovery Channel claims the goal of Shark Week is to shed light on the latest scientific findings on these underwater predators and encourage conservation efforts of the often misunderstood creatures.

Shark conservation is crucial in today’s world. About 27 percent of cartilaginous fish, including sharks, are estimated or assessed to be threatened with extinction, says Lisa Whitenack, an associate professor of biology and geology at Allegheny College. 

But, according to researchers, the iconic week of television might be hurting those it claims to help...

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Malaysia’s reef sharks stricken with mystery skin disease

Marine biologists are investigating a mystery skin disease afflicting whitetip reef sharks in Malaysia, with some early reports suggesting rising sea temperatures could be to blame. Named for the distinctive white tips on their fins, whitetip reef sharks are typically found resting in schools around reefs in the day and are a popular attraction for divers. They become active at night to hunt for small fish and other animals.

Pictures of one of the sharks with what appeared to be spots and lesions on its head went viral on social media in April after being taken by an underwater photographer off Sabah state on Borneo island.

Soon after, divers at Sipadan island, a famed diving destination nearby, and a team of experts from the state’s university and government and conservation groups...

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Overfishing of bronze whalers ‘threat to the tourism industry’

Overfishing of bronze whaler sharks in Gansbaai is threatening the shark tourism industry, with shark cage diving operators bearing the brunt of the practice. Conservationists and scientists are concerned about the high number of bronze whaler sharks being caught because there is a limited number of the species which provides great opportunities for tourists to experience the region’s marine life.

The Great White Shark Protection Foundation is campaigning for a marine area in the region to be protected from shark vessels and fishers due to bronze whaler sharks’ important role in the tourism industry.

Wilfred Chivell, owner of shark cage diving company Marine Dynamics, said: “We fully understand that fishermen can legally catch bronze whaler sharks, however, the minimal loss that fishe...

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Europe’s largest aquarium faces legal action over 30 dead hammerhead sharks

Hammerhead Shark

Europe’s biggest aquarium faces legal action over the deaths of 30 hammerhead sharks, which a marine conservation group alleges were mistreated. Sea Shepherd France announced at the weekend that it would file a lawsuit on Monday against the Nausicaá aquarium in the French port of Boulogne, near Calais. The last of the 30 sharks, which were introduced into the aquarium in 2011 and 2018, died on Thursday.

Sea Shepherd accuses the aquarium of “serious mistreatment” of the sharks and “breaches of environmental law”.

Philippe Vallette, the manager of Nausicaá, rejected the allegations and the claim that they died because they were kept in captivity...

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Rare ‘shark nursery’ discovered in deep waters west of Ireland

An enormous shark ”nursery” swarming with the predatory fish and strewn with their eggs has been found in the waters 200 miles off the western Irish coast. The rare discovery was made by a remotely operated vehicle exploring the region’s cold-water coral reefs at depths of around 750m. Scientists observed a large school of blackmouth catsharks, a relatively small species found throughout the northeast Atlantic, alongside the more unusual and solitary sailfin roughshark.

The site’s egg cases, or mermaids purses, are seldom seen in such vast numbers, and are thought to belong to the catsharks.

While there were no shark pups swimming around the site, the researchers behind the SeaRover survey that captured the footage want to keep an eye on events there and potentially watch them h...

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Shark attack off Egyptian coast

A Czech tourist was killed in a shark attack in the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt, the country’s Ministry of Environment said on Sunday. The 41-year-old man was found dead on a beach in the resort city of Marsa Alam on Friday after being attacked by a shark, City Board Chariman Atef Wagdy said.

“A delegation from the environment ministry and another delegation from the natural reserve of the red sea are currently investigating the incident and trying to locate the shark in the Red Sea,” he said.

The shark is believed to have attacked the man in parts of the sea beyond the coral reef, where Wagdy said people are vulnerable to attack.

The marina, which extends into the coral reefs, has been closed off to beachgoers, Wagdy said.

He added the beach wasn’t evacuated, but beach guards were clo...

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New Shark Species discovered In Atlantic Ocean

Atlantic Sixgill Shark

A team of scientists have discovered a new shark species, specifically the third kind of sixgill shark in the Atlantic Ocean. What differentiates the Atlantic sixgill shark from its cousins in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean, and why are these sharks so special?

The Atlantic Sixgill Shark: A New Species
Through genetic testing, scientists confirmed the Atlantic sixgill shark is a new species that is different from the other kinds of sixgill shark found in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. The other two species in the family are the bluntnose sixgill shark and the bigeyed sixgill shark.

“We showed that the sixgills in the Atlantic are actually very different from the ones in the Indian and Pacific Oceans on a molecular level, to the point where it is obvious that they’re a different sp...

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Why sharks need a new soundtrack

Tiger shark

Humans have long been sharks’ greatest danger, but a new study reveals a surprisingly potent threat against them — background music. University of California, San Diego visiting assistant researcher Andrew Nosal (UC San Diego, Ph.D. ’13) and Harvard marketing professor Elizabeth Keenan (UC San Diego, M.A. ’08, Ph.D. ’15) surveyed participants’ reactions to three videos of sharks swimming — not feeding, just swimming.

The only difference between the three videos was the background music.

One clip featured an ominous soundtrack, familiar to viewers of blockbusters and nature documentaries alike; another was accompanied by uplifting strings; and a third by silence...

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Shark cull in Western Australia blocked by regulator

shark cull

Western Australia’s shark cull is to be halted after the state’s environmental regulator advised against it. Earlier this year, baited traps known as drum lines were set up as a trial along seven beaches to catch sharks, after a series of fatal attacks. But the policy was controversial, with critics arguing it could damage the marine ecosystem.

The regulator cited “a high degree of scientific uncertainty” about the impact on the white shark population.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it had weighed the potential impact of the plan against the need to maintain “the diversity, geographic distribution and viability” of marine life. It made particular reference to the white shark, because it is listed as a “vulnerable” species.

Experts consulted by the EPA said there was “too...

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