News News Digest - February Our selection of top shark stories, highlighting the latest news and discoveries from around the world... Lit-Up Fishing Nets Dramatically Reduce Catch of Unwanted Sharks, Rays and Squid 18th February Fishing nets illuminated with green LED lights can prevent unwanted marine animals from getting stuck, saving fisheries time and stopping vulnerable animals from dying or getting injured, new research suggests. Hundreds of Spinner Sharks filmed off Texas coast in rare congregation 14th February Footage captured by PhD student Kelsey Martin, a researcher at the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation, shows the "massive" congregation swimming around an artificial reef, in the Gulf of Mexico near Port O'Connor. Gathering of giant Whale Sharks is world’s best underwater photograph 10th February An astounding photo of five whale sharks, feeding together at night in the waters of the Maldives sees Rafael Fernandez Caballero from Spain named Underwater Photographer of the Year 2022. New Basking Shark discovery excites Irish researchers 4th February Until recently, researchers believed that the sharks would either migrate to warmer oceans during the winter months or cross the Atlantic. However, a team of scientists from Queen’s University Belfast and Canada’s Western University has now found evidence of some individuals staying around Ireland’s coast in winter where they remained below the surface. Belize extends protection for sharks after research documents population decline 3rd February Even in protected areas, endangered sharks may still be vulnerable, according to one of the first long-term monitoring studies of reef sharks within a marine protected area (MPA). Morocco announces major Mako protection 2nd February The government of Morocco has announced a national prohibition on the fishing, storage, and trade of Shortfin Mako Sharks (Isurus oxyrinchus), in line with a broader measure agreed in November 2021 through the International Commission for Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). New study identifies research priorities for threatened sharks 1st February A new paper in the journal Conservation Science and Practice, led by Arizona State University Faculty Research Associate David Shiffman, has identified 35 research priorities that scientists can use to shape their research on threatened shark species in the United States.