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

Footage of Rare White Nurse Shark in Western Australia

25 May

Divers in Western Australia were treated to an unusual encounter when they spotted a white Nurse Shark on a dive off Rottnest Island. Nurse Sharks are normally grey-brown in colour. It’s thought this individual has a genetic condition called leucism, resulting in a partial loss of pigmentation. It’s not unheard of for animals to have conditions such as leucism or albinism, but it’s very rare to see them! Check out the video footage here.

Study Finds an Increase in White Sharks off California

25 May

Positive findings from a recent study of White Sharks off the central Californian coast. Scientists estimate their numbers have increased by as much as 35% over the last decade. It’s not fully understood whether this is down to protections and an increase in prey. Or regional fluctuations. But these findings signify a healthy ecosystem and will feed into the development of further conservation actions for this species.

Increased Conservation Efforts for Sharks in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO)

25 May

Conservation measures have been tightened for fisheries operating in the NAFO Regulatory Area. Including a complete ban on fishing for the Greenland Shark. Extra measures to minimise bycatch and mortality of this Vulnerable shark have also been put in place. Good news for this long-lived shark that’s thought to live around 400 years!

EU MEP’s Join Forces for Makos

20 May

Members of European Parliament (MEP) Caroline Roose (France), Francisco Guerreiro (Portugal), Grace O'Sullivan (Ireland), and an 38 more have all joined forces. Together they’re calling on the EU Commissioner to follow the science for Shortfin Mako in the North Atlantic.

In their letter to Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius, they urged the EU to stop blocking much needed protection for makos at ICCAT this year. Scientific advice that’s has been proposed since 2017 for this Endangered shark.

Check out Caroline Roose’s blog post. You can also read the Shark League’s Press Release, and find out how you can get involved with our Rally4Mako campaign.

Calls to Protect Baskers in Irish Waters

18 May

Conservationists and Members of the Irish Parliament are calling for legal protection for the Endangered Basking Shark in Irish territorial waters. Known as liamhán mór gréine in Irish, translated as the great fish of the sun, Basking Sharks visit Irish shores every year. Hotspots include Cork, Kerry, Clare, Mayo and Donegal.

Despite their annual visits, they currently have no national protection in Ireland. The addition of the world’s second largest shark to the Wildlife Act would make it an offence to intentionally - or recklessly - injure, disturb, or harass a Basking Shark to 12 nm around Ireland.

Sharks Species Given Protection in Costa Rica

17 May

Good news for 3 species of hammerhead shark, all 3 species of thresher shark and the Silky Shark. All have been officially declared protected species in Costa Rica. So, these species - which are considered threatened with extinction - will now be protected under the Wildlife Conservation Law of Costa Rica.

As a result, it’ll now be illegal to land or sell them commercially or trade them internationally. Before this decree, these sharks were considered commercial species and were fished with minimal restrictions.

Latest Research Confirms the Use of Magnetic Fields for Navigation

7 May

Many species of shark carry out mammoth annual migrations, returning to the same locations to mate, pup or feed. All without the help of landmarks. It has long been thought that sharks are sensitive to the Earth’s magnetic fields. Now the latest research confirms it. The next question on the scientists’ lips is how they pick up magnetic fields and the implication human generated fields has on them.

Studying Migrating Hammerhead Sharks with a Little Help from Space

4 May

An international team of scientists have set about discovering more about the worlds largest Scalloped Hammerhead Shark aggregation in the Galápagos archipelago. With a little help from space...

Previous studies used passive acoustic tags to determine the movements of hammerheads in the region. But these didn't reveal precise routes. 

In this latest study, scientists investigated the migration of pregnant females to their nursery grounds in Isla del Coco in Costa Rica. This time using satellite tags to determine the exact course and timings of their journey. The results of this study will allow scientists to better protect this Critically Endangered shark in this region.

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Banner image: Hammerhead © John Bantin