Lemon Shark in black and white

Sharks

Sharing resources in a civilised manner? Sharks at Tiger Beach don't get into a food fight but appear to wait patiently in line for their turn.

Shark species takes turns hunting

Niche partitioning of time, space or resources is considered the key to allowing the coexistence of competitor species, and particularly guilds of predators such as sharks.

However, the extent to which these processes occur in marine systems is poorly understood due to the difficulty in studying fine-scale movements and activity patterns in mobile underwater species.

Sensationalised depictions of sharks in shark movies rarely reflect what really happens in real life
Sensationalised depictions of sharks in shark movies rarely reflect what really happens in real life

96% of shark movies portray sharks as being a threat to humans

In this day and age, with the prevalence of anti-shark fin soup campaigns and the ease with which accurate information about sharks can be disseminated, one might have reasonably expected sharks to be better portrayed in the movies.

That it may be seen as the majestic and graceful apex predator that it is, instead of a mindless man-eater bent on chomping down on screaming humans. 

Well, one can hope.

In a world-first study by University of South Australia, researchers looked into how sharks were being portrayed in movies.

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Shark Angels Announce FinRaiser Trivia Night

Tue, 06/07/2021 - 18:24

Join the Angels for a fun filled sharky event where you can test your shark knowledge and win prizes including a week long SCUBA liveaboard adventure!

When: Wed July 14th at 4pm PDT/ 7pm EDT

How: Buy a ticket $15 (donation) to join us via Zoom. Once you buy a ticket you will receive a Zoom link to play. Link to registration page: https://sharkangels.kindful.com/e/finraiser-trivia-night-

Prizes

Fresh shark fins drying on sidewalk
(File photo) Fresh shark fins drying on sidewalk

Maldives backpaddles after outcry over lifting shark fishing ban

Shark fishing was completely banned in the Maldives in 2010 so when the country announced plans to discuss legalising the practice again, it created a massive backlash from the international community.

Sharks have always been a valuable tourist attraction in the small island nation and the declining status of shark fisheries, exacerbated by unresolved conflicts with other stakeholders led to the declaration of total shark fishing ban in 2010. With the shark fishing ban in place, sharks are now caught as bycatch in the Maldivian fisheries.

Researchers conclude the northward range shift demonstrates the young white sharks are being subjected to a loss of suitable thermal habitat

Climate change shifts the range of white sharks

Researchers conclude the northward range shift demonstrates water temperatures within their preferred temperature range of juvenile white sharks are becoming harder to find.

The animals have historically remained in warmer waters in the southern California Current; Between 1982 and 2013, the northernmost edge of the juveniles' range was located near Santa Barbara (34° N).

The Port Jackson (Heterodontus portusjacksoni) shark is a benthic, buccal pumping species that remain motionless for extended periods of time.

Do Sharks Sleep?

Sleep is ubiquitous across the animal kingdom but despite anecdotal reports of sleep-like behaviour in nurse sharks and other seafloor-dwelling species, the question of whether sharks actually sleep has been intensely debated but remains unknown. A key criterion for separating sleep from other quiescent states is an increased arousal threshold. True sleep is characterised by a lack of movement that can be rapidly reversed and a decreased awareness of surroundings.

Peaceful sharks

IUCN update finds sharks increasingly threatened

The Lost Shark, Carcharhinus obsoletus, is already extinct, and others that are expected to follow soon include four species each of hammerhead and angel sharks, from the world’s most threatened shark families. In spite of all the press that shark conservation has received in the past two decades, no effective protection of sharks has been established, no sharks have been saved, and their decline into extinction is ever more apparent.

The Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi) is the most commonly encountered reef shark in the Caribbean Sea.

Reef sharks prefer small meals

Researchers from James Cook University's ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies examined stomach contents of reef sharks and conducted chemical analyses of shark body tissue to find out what they had been eating.  

Somewhat surprisingly after pumping sharks' stomachs to identify the contents of the last meal, the most common thing to find was in fact, nothing. "These results suggest that reef sharks eat small meals infrequently and opportunistically," Lead author, Dr Ashley Frisch said.

Appeal to Shark Lovers!

The paper presents the reasons why large predators of great ecological importance cannot supply the rising demand for shark fins, which is driven by profits that rival the drug trade and involves the fisheries of nations around the globe. They have essentially run out of fish so are targeting sharks now that the shark fin trade has made them valuable.