Lemon Shark in black and white


Dive Palau with Explorer Ventures, a new addition to the Fleet!

Set sail in the oasis of Palau, now with Explorer Ventures Fleet! This May, the state-of-the-art Black Pearl Explorer joined the world-renowned liveaboard company, in partnership with Pearl Fleet.

Black Pearl Explorer offers three incredible itineraries, including Palau Classic visiting all the famous dive sites. Plus, two Spawning Special itineraries for divers to see the rare spawning aggregations of bumphead parrot fish and red snappers.

A slow-moving filter-feeder, the gentle whale shark is the biggest fish in the sea.
A slow-moving filter-feeder, the gentle whale shark is the biggest fish in the sea.

Shipping poses substantial threat to whale sharks

As whale sharks assemble in coastal regions to spend substantial time in surface waters, experts theorised collisions with ships could be causing substantial whale shark deaths. Previously, there was no way of monitoring this threat.

Scientists from 50 international research institutions and universities tracked both whale shark and ship movements across the globe to pinpoint areas of risk and potential collisions. Satellite-tracked data from nearly 350 whale sharks was submitted to the Global Shark Movement Project, conducted by MBA researchers.

Newly-hatched deepwater ghost shark (Hydrolagus sp). Photo by Brit Finucci
Newly-hatched deepwater ghost shark (Hydrolagus sp). Photo by Brit Finucci

Rare, newly hatched ghost shark found in trawling survey

A neonate (newly hatched) ghost shark was found in the net during a trawling survey at about 1,200 metres below sea level. The survey had been conducted by NIWA to estimate the population of blue grenadier (hoki fish) at the Chatham Rise, off New Zealand’s South Island.

Its body was translucent and gelatinous, and it had two giant eyes on its pointed head—with a belly full of egg yolk. "You can tell this ghost shark recently hatched because it has a full belly of egg yolk," said Brit Finucci, a fisheries scientist from National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

There is evidence that white sharks form non-random social associations and may remain in proximity to each other to take advantage of pinniped kills.

Great white sharks have a secret social life

Florida International University (FIU) marine scientist Yannis Papastamatiou, Ph.D. candidate Sarah Luongo, and a collaborative team of researchers wanted to uncover some of the mysteries of the white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) that gather seasonally around Guadalupe Island, Mexico. 

Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis)
Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis) is one of the many shark species now protected in Hawaii.

Shark fishing is now illegal in Hawaiian waters

The ban does not apply to people with permits issued by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), shark fishing for public safety, sharks captured for self-defence, or sharks taken outside of state marine waters with required documentation.

According to Act 51, the conditions of non-commercial permits for the take of sharks “shall include native Hawaiian cultural protocol, size and species restrictions, and a prohibition on species listed as endangered or threatened.”

Shortfin mako shark
Shortfin mako shark

Ban on fishing of mako sharks reached at meeting

At the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) last week, North Atlantic fishing nations have pledged to ban catches of the shortfin mako shark.

The efforts to secure the ban was led by the UK, Canada and Senegal. The move means that the countries agreed to end overfishing immediately and to gradually achieve biomass levels that were enough to support maximum sustainable yield by 2070 for the species, according to an article in The Guardian.

Why do fish rub themselves against a shark?

Fish rubbing themselves against a shark's body may sound as if they have a death wish, but this is precisely what some fish have been spotted doing. And it turns out that such behaviour is more widespread and frequent than one would think.

A study led by the University of Miami (UM) Shark Research and Conservation Program at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science uncovered over 40 instances of fish rubbing themselves against a shark’s skin in over ten locations around the globe.

While chafing has been well documented between fish and inanimate objects, such as sand or rocky substrate, this shark-chaffing phenomenon appears to be the only scenario in nature where prey actively seek out and rub up against a predator.