Lemon Shark in black and white

Sharks

Nurse sharks mating
Nurse sharks preparing to mate (Harold 'Wes' Pratt / Granted by source)

Proven: Marine Protected Areas Boost Shark Populations

The study, spanning sixty-six marine reserves across thirty-seven countries worldwide, sheds light on the stark contrast in shark abundance between fully protected zones and areas open to industrial fishing. Reef-dwelling species such as Caribbean reef, gray reef, whitetip reef, and nurse sharks exhibited nearly double the population density within fully protected marine reserves compared to fishing-permitted zones.

A great white shark
Great White Shark

A Closer Look at Human-Shark Encounters

A recent article by Sam Fletcher begins with the gripping account of a wildlife videographer, Scott Fairchild. Using a drone, he captures a heart-stopping moment when a great white shark repeatedly approaches a lone swimmer off the coast of San Diego. Yet suddenly the shark veers away and disappears. Fairchild states that he has seen countless such encounters between swimmers and white sharks off the Californian coast.

pregnant shark
A pregnant reef shark (Ila France Porcher)

pH Threshold Unlocks Reproductive Maturity in Sharks and Rays

For fish and other water-breathing animals like sharks and rays, reaching reproductive maturity is a crucial milestone that impacts their entire life history. The size at which they reach maturity, coupled with their subsequent growth rate, affects their longevity and reproductive capacity. Now, researchers have pinpointed a specific pH threshold, termed the "reproductive respiration threshold" (RRT), which kickstarts the hormonal processes leading to maturation.

Shark nets in New South Wales
Shark nets in New South Wales (Sam Hood, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Unintended Deaths Soar in NSW Shark Net Program

According to the findings, more than half of the 208 non-target species ensnared in the nets over the past eight months met a grim fate, with 134 animals, including critically endangered grey nurse sharks and leatherback turtles, among the casualties. The figures, made public as the nets were removed for the season, highlight the significant toll the program exacts on marine biodiversity.

Juvenile Great White Shark
Juvenile Great White Shark (Elias Levy, CC BY 2.0)

Juvenile Great White Sharks Prefer Shallow Water

The groundbreaking study delved into the drivers behind how juvenile white sharks move. Using special tracking technology that listens to the sharks and tracks their positions, the team of scientists, led by Emily Spurgeon, gathered detailed information about how the varying temperatures of the layers of the sea affect their travels.