sharks tagged posts

Baby sharks emerge earlier and weaker in oceans warmed by climate crisis

Baby sharks will emerge from their egg cases earlier and weaker as water temperatures rise, according to a new study that examined the impact of warming oceans on embryos. About 40% of all shark species lay eggs, and the researchers found that one species unique to the Great Barrier Reef spent up to 25 days less in their egg cases under temperatures expected by the end of the century.

The extra heat caused embryonic epaulette sharks to eat through their egg yolks faster and when they were born, the rising temperatures affected their fitness.

“This is a huge red flag for us,” said Dr Jodie Rummer, an associate professor at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University and a co-author on the study.

Weaker sharks were less efficient hunters, Rum...

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Call for evidence on protecting endangered shark species launches

Greater protections for species of sharks will be considered through a new call for evidence to better understand the scale of the shark fin trade in the UK, as a way to help reduce the import and export of shark fins and protect the world’s sharks.

The UK has a strong track record in marine conservation and has been pressing for stronger international action to protect sharks against unsustainable fishing practices and shark finning, which is the practice of removing a shark’s fins at sea and discarding the finless body back into the water.

The government is now seeking additional evidence to ensure that appropriate protection is in place for all shark species and to inform future policy on protecting marine wildlife.

The call for evidence will help the government better und...

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Is Australia really seeing more shark attacks?

The alert about the latest shark attack came last Friday: a surfer was missing; his board dragged from the waves bearing bite marks. Western Australian authorities have since called off the search for Andrew Sharpe, 52, confirming he was mauled by a shark.

Friends who witnessed the attack said he had been knocked off his board and pulled underwater. Police divers later found scraps of his wetsuit.

His death in Wylie Bay, a popular surf spot, marks the seventh fatal shark attack in Australian waters this year, causing alarm among beach-going communities.

Not since 1929 – when there were nine fatalities – have there been so many.

So is there something in the water, or is 2020 an anomaly? 

What do the numbers show?

Looking at the total number of shark attacks reported – fat...

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WWF urges Med countries to save sharks

Grey reef shark patrolling reef

To mark Shark Awareness Day, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has urged all Mediterranean countries to urgently act to improve the information and awareness for fishermen, boost controls and ensure an adequate system to report the capture of sharks and rays.

The organization wrote in a statement that sharks and rays are fundamental indicators of the state of health of the oceans and their beneficial impact on the welfare of the seas is wide-ranging.

In many areas of the world, they also represent an important economic resource for tourism. The WWF will promote on its social media accounts a special marathon to inform on the importance of sharks for the marine ecosystem, dispelling myths about the threat posed by this species and suggesting behavior to promote its preservation.

The public will...

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Industrial fishing behind plummeting shark numbers

Hammerhead Shark

A team of researchers, led by international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London), has discovered that sharks are much rarer in habitats nearer large human populations and fish markets. The team also found that the average body size of sharks and other marine predators fell dramatically in these areas, where sharks are caught and killed intensively for their meat and fins.

The study, published today in the journal PLOS Biology, shows that the average body size and number of sharks and other marine predators — vital to maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems — fell significantly in proximity to cities with more than 10,000 people and associated fishing fleets.

The minimum distance from people and fishing which had no measurable effect was 1,250 kilometres...

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How We Can Protect Our Wandering Sharks

Thresher Shark

Conservation of our natural world has never been so important; in fact, the environmental journalist John Vidal called biodiversity loss a “crisis even bigger than climate change.” Thirty-one percent of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened with extinction according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

These declines led to an interest in their conservation and sustainable management and one of the ways scientists and conservationists are coming together to protect sharks and marine biodiversity is through marine protected areas. Known better by their acronym, MPA, they are like the national parks we have on land in that human activities are strictly regulated than the surrounding area (or in this case, waters).

These places are given special pr...

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Why global media must change negative agenda towards sharks

Grey Reef Shark

“It’s all psychological. You yell ‘barracuda!’, people are like ‘Huh?? What?? You yell, ‘shark’ and we got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July.”

Those familiar with the film that introduced the world to the concept of a ‘summer blockbuster’ will know that these words are spoken by Larry Vaughn, Mayor of Amity Island, the fictional summer town setting for ‘Jaws’. More than 40 years after it terrified cinemagoers, Jaws remains a legendary piece of film storytelling. Based on Peter Benchley’s actually far more explicit book, its tale centres on a Police Chief’s two-handed battle: on land, against a town mayor with misguided principles, and off shore against a ‘killer shark.’

So why was ‘Jaws’ so successful in creating stampedes of filmgoers to their loca...

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Hand-Feeding Sharks Is a Terrible Idea

Shark encounter on back of boat

A woman who tried to hand-feed a shark is lucky she still has a hand. Yes, it bit her. IT’S A SHARK. Melissa Brunning of Perth, Australia, was on a holiday yacht cruise in Dugong Bay on Australia’s coast, when four tawny nurse sharks (Nebrius ferrugineus) swam close to the back of the boat, Perth Now reported. Several of Brunning’s companions dropped fish in the water near the sharks, one of which measured almost 7 feet (2 meters) in length.

However, when it was Brunning’s turn, she tried to feed the shark directly by hand. As the shark snatched the food, its jaws closed on her finger, and it yanked her into the water — a terrifying moment that one of her friends captured on video, according to Perth Now.

In the footage, which was shared on Twitter by Australia’s 7 News Melbourne on Ju...

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Scientists take ride on the Pacific’s ‘Shark Highway’

Scientists have videotaped sharks traveling a 500-mile-long "shark highway" in the Pacific Ocean.

For the first time, scientists have videotaped sharks traveling a 500-mile-long “shark highway” in the Pacific, and they plan to turn it into a protected wildlife corridor in the ocean. Biologists have been attaching electronic tags to sharks near Costa Rica for years. They knew the sharks sometimes traveled south to the Galapagos Islands, but they’d never actually witnessed it. And they needed scientific — and visual — evidence to make their case for protecting the route.

To do that, they took some GoPro-style cameras and attached them to metal frames along with bloody fish bait. They’re called BRUVS, for “baited remote underwater video system.” The researchers dragged these contraptions behind a research vessel for almost two weeks.

And they waited, and waited, spending hours watchi...

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How we uncovered feeding habits of sharks, thanks to plankton ‘post codes’

white tip shark

Across the globe, sharks have been hit hard by fishing and habitat destruction, which has led to declines in many populations. Marine conservation efforts are increasingly focused on managing particular regions to prevent certain kinds of fishing, or to restore a certain habitat, within their boundaries – things like marine protected areas. So knowing how sharks move around the ocean and use different regions to eat, mate or give birth is particularly important.

In recent years, great advances have been made tracking animals (including sharks) with electronic tags, but it remains very expensive and relatively few animals have been tracked. Not only that, but knowing where a shark is doesn’t necessarily tell you why it is there.

We’re part of a team of 73 scientists from 21 countries wh...

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