Blog Tags: Shark Bycatch
It’s estimated that tens of millions of sharks die from incidentally being caught in fishing gear each year—more commonly known as bycatch—from longlines, trawls, and gillnets. Commercial pelagic longlines are particularly dangerous, dangling thousands of baited hooks into the water for extended periods of time, typically intending to catch swordfish, mackerel, and tuna.
- New research shows that deep-sea microbes use vitamin B12 to break down toxic chemicals on the seafloor. Scientists that found microbes using this vitamin reduced the toxicity of dangerous polychlorinated biphenyals (PCBs), dioxins, and other dangerous substances. Forbes
Ocean Roundup: Crabs Found to Look Out for Corals, 35,000 Walruses Gather on Alaskan Beach, and More
- New research shows that some coral may have natural “crab guards” that help them fight off predatory sea stars. Researchers found that coral off the island of Moorea in French Polynesia have a symbiotic relationship with these crabs, offering them shelter and nutrition in exchange for protection. Smithsonian
In honor of Shark Week, Oceana is taking a look at one of the biggest issues facing sharks today: bycatch, or the unintentional catch of non-target fish and other marine life. It occurs in multiple fishing gear types and occurs in fisheries throughout the world. Fortunately, this is a reversible situation that can be overcome with collaboration between fishermen and policy makers.
In April, Oceana in Chile urged Chile’s Secretary of Fisheries Raúl Súnico to protect sharks that are being adversely affected by the nation's fishing operations. Oceana aimed their efforts at the swordfish fishing industry, which has particularly high levels of shark bycatch. To raise awareness about the issue, Oceana aired a three-minute segment on a Chilean news broadcast – and reached an estimated 2 million viewers. Check out this recent article by SOS—Save Our Species that highlights our Chilean office’s shark conservation efforts:
- New Shark Repellent May Keep Sharks from Becoming Bycatch Posted Wed, October 22, 2014
- CEO Note: President Obama Designates Largest Marine Reserve in the World Posted Fri, October 17, 2014
- CEO Note: Introducing Lars “Lasse” Gustavsson, Oceana in Europe’s New Senior Vice President and Executive Director Posted Tue, October 21, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Great Barrier Reef Health “Never Been Worse,” Coral Could Be New Substitute for Bone Grafts, and More Posted Thu, October 23, 2014
- Oceana Magazine, Dr. Pauly Column: How Do We Know How Many Fish There Are in The Sea? Posted Fri, October 17, 2014