Our selection of top shark stories, highlighting the latest news and discoveries from around the world...


Baby Smoothhound Could Be First Case of ‘Virgin Birth’ in Species

21 August

The recent birth of a Common Smoothhound Shark in a marine centre in Sardinia is thought to be the result of a ‘virgin birth’. The baby shark in question was born to a female housed in a tank with one other female. Known as parthenogenesis, or asexual reproduction, this mode of reproduction occurs without mating. If DNA tests confirm asexual reproduction, this discovery is thought to be the first of its kind recorded for this species.


#StateofNature

Good news for nature! Following a multi-organisation campaign, and the signatures of 280,000+ people who signed the #StateofNature petition, Defra announced they will make England the first country ever to put a deadline for the recovery of nature in the law! This binding nature recovery target will hopefully see more wildlife, including sharks and rays, in years to come.


Paper: The Role and Value of Science in Shark Conservation Advocacy

17 August

The Shark Trust has long promoted science at the heart of shark conservation. This recently published study highlights the value and complexities of incorporating science in shark conservation advocacy. As well as potential opportunities for scientists and advocates to collaborate more effectively when addressing conservation issues.


UK Government Confirms Plans to Ban Trade of Detached Shark Fins

15 August

The UK has reconfirmed its plans to ban the import and export of detached shark fins as part of a commitment to ongoing engagement in Regional Fisheries Management Organisations and international wildlife treaties. This world-leading trade ban will include shark fin products such as tinned shark finned soup, further reinforcing the UK’s position as a leader in shark conservation.


Deep-Water Shark Nursery Discovered Off Coast of Tel Aviv

14 August

Scientists have discovered a nursery area for deep-water sharks off the coast of Israel where hundreds of small sharks, and even more eggcases have been sighted. This significant discovery highlights the importance of this marine habitat in the Eastern Mediterranean and how much there is still to discover.


Researchers Launch Tracking Study of Critically Endangered Wedgefish in Mozambique

12 August

Researchers at the Marine Megafauna Foundation have kicked off a tagging study involving two species of Critically Endangered wedgefish in Mozambique. Scientists will tag Bottlenose Wedgefish and Bowmouth Guitarfish using two different types of tag to find out more about their critical habitat, movements, range, and the threats they face. The findings from this study will have implications for future protection measures of wedgefishes in the region.


#Rally4Makos Summer Postcard Campaign

9 August

We’ve just launched our #Rally4Makos Summer Campaign and would love for you to get involved! Just like you, many decision makers are currently on their summer holidays. But that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to #MakeTime4Makos! Make sure your voice is heard this summer by sending digital postcards to EU and US Ministers encouraging them to #FollowTheScience at ICCAT this year and support a complete ban on retention of Shortfin Mako in the North Atlantic. Just head to the Shark League #Rally4Makos website and follow the simple steps to send your postcards!


Sixgill Shark Filmed in Coastal Irish Waters for the First Time

30 July

Marine scientists from Trinity College Dublin have recorded what is thought to be the first video footage of a sixgill shark in Irish coastal waters. Usually found off the continental shelf at depths of 200-2,500 m, the coastal site where this 4 m individual was spotted is thought to be of significance to sixgills. The identification of this area could have significant implications for the conservation of this normally deepwater shark.


Uncovering the Secret Life of Basking Sharks

28 July

Scientists have obtained extraordinary footage of fin-to-fin synchronised swimming among Basking Sharks in the Sea of Hebrides, Scotland; behaviour thought to be associated with courtship. Using towed video cameras that are temporarily attached to a shark, scientists were able to capture large groups of up to 13 individuals swimming slowly next to each other. Check out the amazing footage for yourself!


How Sharks Support Healthy Ecosytems

27 July

Researchers have long cautioned the loss of sharks in an ecosystem would spell trouble on a much wider scale. But it’s always been a challenge to identify the exact influence of individual species and identify the true cost of losing it. Shark Bay Ecosystem Research Project, a remote 8,800 square mile seagrass ecosytem in Western Australia, is proving to be an ideal place to find out. Studies carried out in this sanctuary continue to highlight how keystone species, like some sharks, may support more resilient ecosystems in the face of climate change.


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News Digest - July

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Banner image: Basking Sharks © Andrew Pearson