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

Great to see these two articles, which align with our positions featured in Science…

Shortfin Mako Sharks Speeding to the Brink

22 January

Despite clear scientific advice to ban retention of the Endangered North Atlantic Shortfin Mako. Prominent fishing nations continue to block the policies necessary for rebuilding populations of this increasingly vulnerable shark. Scientists estimate the North Atlantic Shortfin Mako has a 60% chance of recovery by 2070 if scientific advice is adopted.

A Call to Action for Mediterranean Sharks and Rays

22 January

The Mediterranean is a risky place to be a shark or ray. Over 50% of all sharks and rays caught in the Mediterranean are listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. In November 2020, the collective action taken by over 3O NGOs, of which we were pleased to coordinate, called on the Tunisian Government to fulfil its international commitments to protect threatened elasmobranchs. The decision to issue an interim ban on fishing and trading of 21 species of shark and ray that followed was a positive outcome. But urgent action is needed by all Mediterranean countries to protect threatened species inhabiting these perilous waters.

Two pieces caught our eye on Whale Sharks this week…

Unusual Whale Shark Encounter in Western Australia

21 January

Swimmers in Rockingham, Western Australia were treated to an unexpected encounter when they spotted a 6m Whale Shark swimming in Cockburn Sound. Normally found in Ningaloo, over 1000km north of Perth, a couple of Whale Sharks have been tracked to Rottnest Island. Encountering them this far south is a first!

Boat Strikes in Protected Areas Impacting Whale Shark Development

22 January

Researchers studying the behaviour of Whale Sharks in the South Ari Atoll Marine Protected Area (SAMPA), Maldives have made an interesting discovery. Whale Sharks with serious injuries primarily acquired from encounters with boats, spent longer in SAMPA than those without injuries. Suggesting that the injured sharks remain in the protected area where the conditions are favourable to their recovery.

Hammerhead Hunts Blacktip Sharks

19 January

And finally…a brief but lovely bit of footage taken by Florida Atlantic University Elasmobranch Research Lab of a hammerhead shark hunting Blacktip Sharks off Florida…enjoy!

Australian Seafood Consumers Urged to “Give Flake a Break”

17  January

A new conservation campaign in Australia is calling consumers to “give flake a break”. The term ‘flake’ is often used when labelling shark meat in Australia, regardless of the species in question. Species-specific labelling is also a challenge in the UK. 'Rock salmon', while once mainly Spiny Dogfish, includes a multitude of coastal sharks making it a challenge for consumers to know exactly what they’re buying.

Jurassic Shark

15  January

Paleontologists have discovered the well-preserved fossil of a Hybodontiform Shark (Asteracanthus ornatissimus) in Solnhofen Limestone, Germany. A close relative to modern day sharks, scientists believe this shark swam in a lagoon in the area during the Late Jurassic period. It’s estimated to have reached lengths of ~3m. This species was first described 150 years ago.

Warming Waters Affect Baby Shark Development

12  January

Researchers have been studying the effect warming water temperatures have on the development of baby Epaulette Sharks. Embryos exposed to higher temperatures were found to emerge from their eggcases up to 25 days earlier. Making them less efficient hunters. These findings have implications for all egglaying elasmobranchs as ecosystems change around them.

New Megalodon Discovery!

11  January

Latest research into the extinct Megalodon has revealed this mammoth shark gave birth to young measuring 2-2.5m long. That’s even bigger than the average height of an adult human! Scientists discovered this when they x-rayed a megalodon fossil. And used the growth bands in the vertebrae to estimate the size of a newborn.

Protection for Mobulas and Whale Sharks in Mozambique

9 January

Great news for sharks and other marine life in Mozambique, as new commercial fishing laws and environmental regulations are introduced! Protection for all species of mobula (which now includes mantas), and Whale Sharks has been adopted. As well as the best practice requirement for all sharks to be landed with their fins naturally attached.

Two Shark Species recorded in The Galapagos for the first time

6 January

Another new sighting! Broadnose Sevengill and Bluntnose Sixgill sharks have been observed around the Galápagos for the first time ever. These sightings provide scientists with important information about the range and habitat preferences of these species.

Megamouth Shark Recorded in Peruvian waters

5 January

Megamouth Sharks have been reported in Peruvian waters for the first time after being caught by accident in small-scale fisheries. These records emphasise the need for continued monitoring to establish the prevalence of this species and their vulnerability to encounters with fisheries.

‘Vacationing’ Basking Sharks

4 January

A genetic tagging study has revealed that, like many holidaymakers, Basking Sharks make annual trips with extended family to familiar locations that serve their favoured fare. In their case zooplankton. Locations with lots of zooplankton attract Basking Sharks from across the Atlantic. Much like popular holiday destinations attract humans.

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