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

Changing the Shark ‘Attack’ Narrative

16 July

It’s no surprise, sharks have a bit of PR problem. Often referred to in less than favourable terms, and with language aimed to shock. Now researchers and conservationists in Australia are taking official steps to change this narrative.

Government websites monitoring human-shark incidents are changing the language they use. Instead of referring to incidents as ‘attacks’, they’re now referring to them as ‘negative encounters. The hope is that changing the language will help to change the public’s perceptions of these amazing, yet often vulnerable animals.

In Search of White Sharks in the Mediterranean

14 July

Records of humans encountering sharks in the Mediterranean Sea date back thousands of years. With records of White Sharks dating back to the 17th Century. This iconic species is still encountered in the Mediterranean to this day. But how many White Sharks call the Mediterranean home?

Scientists aren’t sure. What they do know is that despite being a prohibited species in the Mediterranean, this region continues to be a risky place to be a White Shark. Continued research is necessary to better understand the population.

Big Bull’s Offspring Located off Florida

14 July

Talk about finding a needle in a haystack, or in this case ocean! Shark researchers have encountered the offspring of a female Bull Shark they caught and released off the coast of Florida in 2012. Given the name ‘Big Bull’, the memorable female shark weighed in at an impressive 450kg. Following the analysis of blood samples, scientists discovered she’d given birth not long before they caught and released her. The likelihood of coming across her offspring many years later is incredibly low. So, these findings will provide important information on the population and distribution of Bull Sharks in the region and help to inform species management.

Rewilding of the Seas

4 July

We tend to be more familiar with the term ‘rewilding’ when it relates to species that live on land. But now researchers are looking into whether this is possible for dwindling populations of marine animals. The rewilding of Zebra Sharks in Raja Ampat, Indonesia is leading the way to become the world’s first site for the release of captive-bred sharks. And there are thoughts of rebuilding the population of Critically Endangered Flapper Skate in the North Sea.

Is there potential for rewilding of certain marine species? It looks hopeful. But ensuring good fisheries management is in place first is key, to ensure we don't end up back in the same position.

3D Technology to Combat Illegal Wildlife Trafficking

4 July

Identifying shark fins to species level when you don’t have the rest of the animal can be a challenging job. So, fisheries and customs officers in South Africa are being supplied with the latest Shark ID Toolkit to help. Including 3D replica shark fins of species listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The updated toolkit will help support effective management.

Study Finds Bull Sharks May Form ‘Relationships’ 

1 July

Research into the social behaviour of Bull Sharks in the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, Fiji suggests they can develop ‘relationships’ with other sharks. Data collected from over 3,000 shark dives, spanning 13 years identified evidence for long-term connections between individuals. Yet, more research is needed to determine whether these preferred connections are in fact deliberate.

Related Links:

News Digest - June

More news

Banner image: Zebra Shark © Lewis Burnett, Shutterstock