sharks tagged posts

‘Indiana Jones’ Shark Wins CITES Protection

Thresher Shark

Thresher sharks, devil rays and silky sharks are voted to elevate their protection status to Appendix II of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). These shark species are subjected to demanding shark fin trade that resulted to decline of their populations. By Appendix II, trade of these shark species are legal unless their populations are already unsustainable.

Thresher sharks are known for their big eyes and long whip-like tail, which they use to hunt and stun their prey. Among all pelagic sharks, thresher sharks are at highest risk of extinction and are marked as vulnerable by the IUCN.

“These are incredible animals, with their long whip like tails they’re referred to as the Indiana Jones of the sea,” said Luke Warwick with Pew Charitab...

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Can buying up fishing licences save Australia’s sharks?

Grey reef shark patrolling reef

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) recently raised over A$200,000 to buy shark fishing licences in Queensland’s waters. They estimate the licences, for operating nets in and around the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, could have been used to catch 10,000 sharks each year. Retiring these licences is a new development in Australian shark conservation, but may also limit locally caught seafood.

But do Australia’s sharks need saving, or can we eat them? It depends on where you look.

Sustainable sharks
Sharks in general are much more vulnerable to overfishing than other fish. Compared to most fish, sharks have far fewer offspring over their lifetimes. As a result, shark populations cannot tolerate the same levels of fishing that fish can sustain.

Globally, there is great reason for concern over ...

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Queensland is killing huge numbers of sharks

Grey Reef Shark

The state government in Queensland, Australia, has for five decades sought to prevent shark attacks through a program that attacks sharks. But new numbers on killed sharks off the coast of some of the world’s best beaches indicate Queensland may be a bit more bloodthirsty than necessary.

During the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the state government helped kill 621 sharks: 251 tiger sharks, 173 whaler sharks, 111 bull sharks, and eight great whites, according to Bill Byrne, Queensland’s fisheries minister. He denies that the program aims to slaughter sharks en masse, but instead seeks to trap those that are considered a direct threat to swimmers and surfers.

Environmental activists, however, argue the program targets sharks that are in some cases endangered, including, notably, the great whi...

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Three more sharks – two undersize – hooked on SW drum lines

Caught tiger shark

DRUM lines hooked three more sharks – two of them undersize – off Dunsborough today as the WA Government’s catch-and-kill program continued. This morning, the fisherman contracted to monitor the baited hooks in the South-West pulled up a dead 2m tiger shark. Then he hauled up a 3m shark, shot it dead and towed it out to sea to dispose of the carcass. Finally, another 2m tiger shark was caught – this one still alive.

However, members of conservation group the Animal Rescue Team, who looked on from their vessel, said it took about 20 minutes for the animal to be released.

“It didn’t look good. By the time it was released it looked like it sunk to the bottom,” Animal Rescue Team spokeswoman Amy-Lea Wilkins said.

“We were a bit shocked actually...

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Fiji marine reserve swarming with sharks

white tip reef sharks

Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Western Australia have found that Fiji’s largest marine reserve contains more sharks than surrounding areas that allow fishing, evidence that marine protected areas can be good for sharks. In a study of the no-take reserve’s shark populations, the researchers found that the number of sharks in Namena Reserve—located on the southern coast of Fiji’s Vanua Levu Island—is two to four times greater than in adjacent areas where fishing is permitted. The study appears in a recent edition of the journal Coral Reefs. The authors include: Jordan Goetze of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Western Australia; and Laura Fullwood of the University of Western Australia.

The researchers conducted th...

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Deep sea shark nursery found in Outer Hebrides

The discovery of the first deep-sea shark spawning ground in Scotland has fuelled calls for better protection of the seas and the nation’s multi-million pound wildlife tourism sector.

Marine biologists at Heriot-Watt University revealed that they have found a nursery for the blackmouth catshark on a coral reef in the Outer Hebrides.

Scientists at the university said their work highlighted the “essential” need to safeguard sharks and the economy they support.

The Mingulay Reef, which is already a Special Area of Conservation, has been awaiting designation as a European marine protected area (MPA) – and the greater protection for the habitat and wildlife that would bring – for three years.

Dr Lea-Anne Henry, who led the latest research at Heriot-Watt University, said: “It’s very e...

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