Friday, July 10, 2015

In the News: Surveys and Shark Whisperers


Fig.1. Conservation efforts are necessary to keep these animals in the oceans (Credit: Wyland, USFW via Flickr, 2012)

Between shark whisperers and access to a soon to be unprecedented amount of survey data, scientists hope to better their understanding of these elusive creatures. Rather than portraying them as the monsters of “Shark Week,” these studies hope to address ongoing conservation issues that go beyond just sharks and affect the entire ocean:


  • Call him the shark whisperer because he has identified 24 types of shark and related fish. His specimen collections usually begina not on open water, but in a fish market in Taiwan: “The Man Who Keeps Finding New Species of Shark,” BBC News (24 June 2015)


  • A devastating fish bacterial disease has met its match with a probiotic, a find which could save the aquaculture industry millions of dollars: “Nothing Fishy About Probiotics,” USDA Blog (08 July 2015)

  • Scientists are launching the first ever global survey of sharks, rays, and skates in coral reefs in a huge but necessary project. Data will be shared in an open-access database to help researchers around the world understand these often difficult to study creatures: “Watch: Scientists To Use Baited Underwater Cameras To Study Sharks,” Science Magazine (08 July 2015)

  • Between climate change and diseases decimating fish populations, marine ecosystems are in danger. Targeted management programs and early disease detection might help to preserve our oceans for the coming century: “Tipping Back The Balance Toward Healthy Oceans,” The Hill (09 July 2015)

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