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

The Juvenile White Shark Hangout

23 March

Scientists have used the latest 3D satellite technology to shine a light on the species-habitat relationship of young White Sharks in the New York Bight. Currently the only confirmed nursery area for this species in the North Atlantic. Results from this study found that over 90% of the sharks tagged were found within 20km of the shoreline. It’s thought they stay local to take advantage of the productive waters during the late summer months. This nearshore habitat also provides protection from other, larger predators.

Fossil Found of a Shark With ‘Wings’

18 March

Palaeontologists have identified what’s thought to be a bizarre ‘winged’, planktivorous shark from a fossil discovered in Mexico in 2012. Given the nickname ‘eagle shark’, this species exhibits both a torpedo-shaped body and expansive wings - similar to those of a manta ray.

Mako Shark Movements in the Gulf of Mexico

17 March

Scientists studying Shortfin Makos in the Northwest Atlantic have identified the Gulf of Mexico as a potential mating and birthing ground. Using satellite tags they tracked the movement patterns of 9 sharks, 7 of which were adults. Tagging data revealed the adult females showed site fidelity to the Gulf of Mexico. One individual remained here for over 2 years. Whilst the males exhibited seasonal migrations. These findings have implications for what we already know to be an overfished and highly vulnerable shark in the North Atlantic. 

The Global Scale of Seafood Fraud

15 March

Seafood is one of the most internationally traded food commodities in the world. Complicated supply chains make these products particularly vulnerable to mislabelling. Be it accidentally, or intentionally, the later known as ‘seafood fraud’. A study analysing over 9,000 seafood samples, found that around 40% of the samples were mislabelled. With less favoured, cheaper species, including sharks, often labelled as more popular, expensive species and in some cases, from an entirely different family.

Report Released on Elasmobranchs Endemic to Australia  

14 March

A report focusing on elasmobranchs endemic to Australia, has revealed major population declines in 10 species of shark, skate and ray as a result of fishing activities. Population declines of up to 80% over the last >30 years were identified for some species. Highlighting the need for effective management measures to safeguard these species. Including improved species-specific identification and recording, enhanced bycatch reduction measures and best practice handling methods. 

Making a Megalodon 

11 March

The size of the Megalodon has long been a topic of conversation amongst shark lovers and scientists alike. With latest research shining more light into just how big this mega shark was. But how do museums develop full-size models of the Meg for their exhibits? Fossilised teeth, the anatomical measurements of shark species still alive today, and findings from the latest studies hold the key...

MPA Created off Scotland Following Discovery of a Flapper Skate Egglaying Site 

10 March

The exciting discovery of Flapper Skate egglaying site in the Inner Sound of Skye in late 2019, has led to an urgent MPA being designated. Protecting the developing young of this Critically Endangered species. This MPA prohibits activities that are potentially damaging to this nursery site for an interim period of 12 months. Whilst further assessments are carried out to determine more permanent management measures.  

Rare Sighting of a Giant Manta Ray Spotted in Israel

7 March

A few lucky onlookers were in for a surprise after a Giant Manta Ray was spotted in Eilat, Israel. A rare sighting for this area. The manta in question was estimated to be around 2.5m. Giant Manta Ray’s are seldom found in the Red Sea and are rarely recorded as far north as Eilat.

Mysteries of Tope Shark Migration

3 March

A 7-year study analysing tracking data from female Tope sharks (aka Soupfin Sharks) found off California has revealed they have a triennial migratory cycle. Returning to the same location off La Jolla, California every 3 years.

This pattern of returning to the same location, known as philopatry, is often linked to the reproductive cycle of a species. Scientists confirmed these female Tope sharks were pregnant. And likely using the warmer water in the area to help incubate their developing young.

These new findings have implications on future management strategies for this Critically Endangered species.

Luminous Sharks: Researchers Identify 3 More Deep-Sea Sharks That Glow

2 March

Scientists studying deepwater sharks off the east coast of New Zealand have documented bioluminescence in 3 more species. Including what is now the largest known luminous vertebrate, the Kitefin Shark, which grows to nearly 6ft.

These sharks produce light from special organs located on their underbellies. Helping to camouflage them from predators looking up from below. These new findings highlight the need for further research into deepwater species and the role luminescence plays on structuring this ecosystem.

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News Digest - February

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Banner image: Tope © Matthew Meier