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New study reveals vulnerability of sharks as collateral damage in commercial fishing
Date:7/22/2014

th both very slow reproductive potential and unusual body features, such as hammerheads and thresher sharks. The paper's authors suggest that bycatch likely played an important role in the decline of scalloped hammerhead species in the Northwest Atlantic, which has been considered for increased international and national protections, such as the U.S. Endangered Species List.

The researchers suggest that high at-vessel mortality, slow maturity, and specialized body structures combine for the perfect mixture to become extinction-prone.

"Our results suggest that some shark species are being fished beyond their ability to replace themselves," said UM Research Assistant Professor Neil Hammerschlag. "Certain sharks, such as big eye threshers and scalloped hammerheads, are prone to rapidly dying on the line once caught and techniques that reduce their interactions with fishing gear in the first place may be the best strategy for conserving these species."

The study, titled "Vulnerability of oceanic sharks as pelagic longline bycatch" was published online in the open-access journal Global Ecology and Conservation.


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Contact: Diana Udel
dudel@rsmas.miami.edu
305-421-4704
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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