Lemon Shark in black and white

Sharks

Sixgill and Sevengill — Ancient Sharks in the Kelp

It certainly looks “prehistoric”—whatever that means. Cigar-shaped, blunt-snouted, with that slightly “sock-puppet-looking” smirk, the overall look of this big beastie is very much that of an ancestral shark, like some of the deep-water dogfishes, the sleeper sharks and others. Indeed, fossil remains similar to modern sevengills and sixgills are known from the Jurassic and perhaps much earlier.

Great White Shark  Photo:  Elias Levy
Great White Shark

Great white shark swims more than 10,000km in 150 days

Researchers from the NSW (New South Wales) Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Deakin University fitted an adult male shark with a pop-up satellite tag and tracked it for more than five months.

After being tagged, the shark swam more than 20 kilometres out to sea, then headed north to Queensland. 

It roamed between 80 and 280km offshore between Agnes Water and the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, before heading to the cooler waters in southern NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. 

Shark fins still attached to their rightful owners

President Biden signs the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act

The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act represents a multiyear effort by lawmakers, under pressure from animal-rights and ecological organizations such as the Animal Welfare Institute and Oceana, to ban the trade of shark fins. 

Seventeen states and three U.S. territories have banned or restricted the intrastate sale of shark fins, but instituting a federal framework is critical as fins imported and sold in the U.S. can come from endangered or threatened shark species, or from sharks that were finned.

Hooked shark
Bycatch is a term used to refer to any species caught accidentally while fishing for other species. According to the FAO, there are few fisheries that don't catch sharks as bycatch, and some fisheries actually catch more sharks than their targeted species.

Small device can reduce shark bycatch by 90%

Marine scientists have invented a small device that can reduce shark bycatch numbers by emitting short electrical pulses as a deterrent.

When clipped on the fishing line next to a baited hook, the battery-operated SharkGuard works by emitting a short localised pulse every two seconds. This causes the shark’s ampullae of Lorenzini (electrical sensors around its nose and mouth) to be overstimulated, thus prompting it to swim away.

Tiger beach, Bahamas
Tiger beach, Bahamas. Are sharks getting bigger because of tourists or is it the bigger sharks which are interacting with tourists?

Tiger sharks that interact with tourists are larger, study shows

That feeding or attracting wildlife with food to enable better viewing opportunities by ecotourists (i.e. provisioning tourism) has the potential to alter the natural behaviour and physiology of animals has long been well established.

But how the physiological state of wildlife might be related to the nature and magnitude of these effects remains poorly understood.

More than half of surfers surveyed are not bothered by sharks in the water.
More than half of surfers surveyed are not bothered by sharks in the water.

Shark in the waters? No sweat, said more than half of surfers in survey

Imagine you are riding the waters on your trusty surfboard, savouring the rush of emotions and feeling totally alive, when you glance down into the waters and you spot a shark swimming by. 

Does your heart skip a beat and you immediately look for the fastest way to get back to dry land?

Or do you continue what you are doing, feeling more at one with the elements?

Well, if you are like more than 50 percent of surfers, you would simply continue surfing, according to a survey of 391 surfers, conducted by the University of South Australia.

Basking shark
The basking shark is a globally threatened species which faces a high risk of extinction

Basking shark gains special protected status in Ireland

In Ireland, new regulations giving the basking shark the "protected wild animal" status under the Wildlife Act came into effect on 9 October. The order was signed by Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan, and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue. This legislation was heavily supported by the Irish Basking Shark Group (ISBG), an international network of researchers, educators, and community representatives founded in 2009.

Orcas hunt Great White Sharks

For several years, scientists have suspected that orcas have been killing and eating parts of great white sharks. Now, they have video evidence to prove it.

New drone and helicopter footage show a pod of orcas ruthlessly pursuing a great white shark in Mossel Bay, South Africa for more than an hour before going in for the kill. The video culminates with one of the killer whales gobbling up a large chunk of the shark's liver.