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

New Blacktip Shark Behaviour

25 February

Turns out Blacktip Sharks are more flexible than initially thought. Researchers studying the annual Blacktip Shark migration off Florida have discovered they can move the front part of their bodies on a different wavelength to the back part of their bodies. This change in motion likely helps support efficient hunting and manoeuvring. Allowing the front to focus on sensory information. While the back focuses on swimming.

The Crucial Role Sharks Play in Ecosystem Recovery

25 February

Scientists studying ecosystem recovery in Shark Bay, Australia have further highlighted the crucial role sharks play in maintaining resilient marine environments. After extreme climatic events, the presence of sharks was shown to be essential to supporting the recovery of marine ecosystems. Through regulating prey behaviour and helping to maintain a balanced and stable food-web.

Rapid Wound Healing in Whale Sharks

23 February

Latest Whale Shark research reveals their ability to heal rapidly following significant injury. Some individuals can even partially re-grow lost tissue after possible boat strikes. These new findings support existing evidence of highly developed trauma recovery mechanisms in elasmobranchs. Click here to read the full paper: https://academic.oup.com/conphys/article/9/1/coaa120/6102284#228070271

Aquariums Hatch a Plan to Save the Zebra Shark

17 February

A multinational partnership made up of research institutions, aquariums, government bodies and conservation groups are rallying around to save the Endangered Zebra Shark. Whilst population declines have been seen in the wild, Zebra Sharks fare well in aquariums. The Stegostoma tigrinum Augmentation and Recovery (StAR) project aims to use eggs produced by Zebra Sharks in aquariums to repopulate the species in the wild in areas where numbers have dwindled.

Congo-Brazzaville's Threatened Shark Population

16 February

Depleting fish stocks, due to industrial fisheries, has led artisanal fishermen and coastal communities in the Congo to increasingly depend on shark meat as a source of protein. But they’re encountering fewer sharks than ever before. An increasing number of challenges including unregulated fishing and climate change, continue to pose threats to fish populations and livelihoods.

The Disappearance of Cape Town’s White Sharks

15 February

Once known as the shark diving destination of the world, Cape Town continues to wonder...where have all the White Sharks have gone? Possible causes for their disappearance have been linked to overfishing resulting in the depletion of food sources. As well as changes to the environment, and the arrival of orcas in the area who prey on White Sharks. Yet, there's other questions that also concern scientists. Is their disappearance temporary or long term? And what implications will this have on local tourism and the marine ecosystem?

NASA technology Supporting the Conservation of Whale Sharks

10 February

Marine biologists are using technology adapted from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope program to support Whale Shark Conservation. The pattern on a Whale Shark’s skin is made up of numerous spots and stripes, like a starry night sky. Using an algorithm initially designed to map stars, researchers can scan these patterns that are unique to each shark and identify if an individual has been sighted before.

Overfishing and Habitat Loss Pushes Sawfishes to Near Extinction

10 February

One of the worlds most threatened families of marine fishes is in a precarious position. Latest research estimates that sawfish are now locally extinct in 55 of the 90 countries they were once found. Due to overfishing and habitat loss. Fisheries management and habitat protection measures are urgently needed to prevent further loss and secure the future of this iconic family of shark-like rays. Find out how you can get involved in sawfish conservation at: sharktrust.org/sawfish 

Warming Waters Pushing Juvenile White Sharks into New Waters

9 February

Scientists have linked warming waters in the North Pacific to the increased presence of juvenile White Sharks in Monterey Bay, California. Representing a 600km northward shift in their usual range. These findings have implications for other marine life residing in the area. Namely the population of Southern Sea Otter’s that call Monterey Bay home.  

Scientists Develop Minimally Invasive Way to Reveal What a Shark Has Had to Eat

3 February

Scientist’s in Florida have developed a novel and minimally invasive way of determining what a shark has had for lunch. Using a trusty cotton swab, researchers collect faeces samples from a shark’s cloaca. We did say minimally invasive! Scientists can identify exactly what the shark has eaten by carrying out DNA analysis on the sample.

Portugal Ban Landings of Shortfin Mako from High-Seas Fisheries

3 February

Another positive step for the world’s fastest shark! Portugal have issued a ban on landing Shortfin Mako caught in North Atlantic high-seas fisheries. Where the majority of Portugal’s mako catch comes from. The latest announcements from Spain and Portugal about Shortfin Mako have the potential to turn the tide on the depleted North Atlantic population.

Toxic Heavy Metals Found in Caribbean Coastal Sharks

1 February

Another study, this time focusing on coastal sharks in The Bahamas, reinforces concerns over heavy metal accumulation in sharks. Large-bodied coastal sharks were documented to have concentrations of heavy metals deemed toxic for human consumption. Whilst sharks have legal protection in The Bahamas, these findings have broader implications for human health in nations where shark meat is consumed as an important source of protein.

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Banner image: Shortfin Mako © Alessandro De Maddalena / Shutterstock