Blue shark caught by Atlantic longline Photo credit MBA
Original Published Date: 
Friday, July 26, 2019

Full article issued by Macquarie University.

ARC-supported researchers are part of a team of more than 150 scientists—including 26 with ties to Australia—who have conducted research to track the movement of sharks at a global scale, and uncovered why large species inhabiting the open ocean account for over half of all identified sharks caught globally as fisheries targets or bycatch.

Professor Rob Harcourt from the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University, and Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) recipient Dr Ana M. M. Sequeira from The University of Western Australia, joined colleagues from Australia and scientists from 25 other countries to collect and collate data from nearly 2000 sharks tracked using satellite transmitter tags.

The researchers mapped positions and identified hotspots in unprecedented detail, to show that that pelagic sharks converge on ‘hotspots’ in the oceans, where there are high concentrations of prey. Global industrial longline fishing fleets head to the same spots, which makes the sharks more vulnerable and the need to protect them much more urgent.

Photo credit: 

Blue shark caught by Atlantic longline. Credit: Marine Biological Association.