The megamouth is one of the rarest sharks in the world. Surprisingly for an animal that can reach 7 meters in length, it was described only in 1983, and only ~100 specimens have been found. This is largely because it is a deep-water species, spending days at 200 meters or more, but rising close to … Read more about High Connectivity and Low Diversity in Megamouth Sharks
The Shark Research Institute/Explorer’s Club Djibouti whale shark research expedition departs this week! Follow the SRI Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Shark-Research-Institute-125677614153934/) as we post updates and photos from on board the MV Deli in the Gulf of Tadjoura. … Read more about Djibouti Whale Shark Expedition Updates
Shark finning continues seemingly unabated, despite some gains in protection for threatened shark species. The scope of the trade is staggering, more than 70 million fins per year are thought to move globally. What species are targeted for these fins? This is a difficult question. Once removed from … Read more about Species Composition of the Shark Fin Trade
Sharks don’t get cancer. That’s the lore we’ve all heard. Some take this claim even farther. Eat a shark and you won’t get cancer, or the cancer you have will be cured. Many sharks are killed for the supposed curative powers of their cartilage, among other health claims. Sharks do, of course, … Read more about Long-term Observation of Cancer in a Shark
Multiple insults to shark populations - fisheries, habitat degradation, the fin trade, climate change - are believed to be interacting to cause steep declines in the numbers of many species. It is difficult, however, to accurately estimate the population size of wide-ranging pelagic sharks. It is … Read more about Fisheries Harvest of Shortfin Mako Sharks
Shark meat consumption is bad for sharks of course, millions of sharks are killed each year for the shark meat and fin trade, but it’s also bad for people. I’ve written before about the way heavy metals and organic pollutants like PCBs concentrate in animals high up on the food chain. Shark meat … Read more about Another Reason (If You Needed One) Not to Eat Shark
We hear so much bad news about sharks – populations of many species have declined to historic lows, finning occurs in numerous countries, bycatch continues to threaten shark species, shark fishing tournaments are conducted for sport here in the US. When a bit of good news about sharks comes along … Read more about Some Good News for Sharks!
A short post today to tell you about the long residency of an individual whale shark at the Ningaloo Reef feeding aggregation in Western Australia. These huge animals require an enormous amount of their planktonic food, and so they travel the seas between sites where rich food sources are … Read more about Stumpy Returns
For many years it was believed that there was a single species of manta ray distributed globally in the oceans, Manta birostris, the Giant manta ray. This was despite the fact that there is a significant range of manta size across different locations, and that some mantas appear to be migratory … Read more about Catching Some Rays in Mexico
Well, CITES is over....all shark and ray proposals were ratified without challenge. A huge victory for sharks at CoP17! Other proposals we’ve championed - the movement of all pangolin species to Appendix I, blocking all trade in African grey parrots, the failure to reopen ivory markets in Namibia … Read more about A huge victory for sharks at CoP17!
In a packed conference room yesterday, the CITES membership voted to continue to protect the African elephant and limit future trade in elephant ivory, but voting failed to move all remaining elephant populations to CITES Appendix I. Three proposals were introduced at CoP17 concerning trade in … Read more about TRADE EXEMPTIONS FOR ELEPHANT IVORY BLOCKED, BUT MOVE TO APPENDIX I FAILS!
Live from CITES CoP17, 10-3-16 CITES voted today on proposals to list silky sharks, all three species of thresher sharks and all nine species of mobula rays on Appendix II. Silky and thresher sharks have shown declines of between 70 and 80% across their ranges, with local declines of more than … Read more about SHARKS AND RAYS RECEIVE CITES APPENDIX II PROTECTION!