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Animal Conservation

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Vol 18 (6 Issues in 2015)
Edited by: Res Altwegg, Darren Evans, John Ewen, Iain Gordon, Jeff A. Johnson, Nathalie Pettorelli and Julie Young
Print ISSN: 1367-9430 Online ISSN: 1469-1795
Published on behalf of Zoological Society of London
Impact Factor: 2.852

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Current Affairs, Life Sciences


August 04, 2014

Humane Strategy Reduces Shark Attacks

 

Shark Monitoring Program of Recife. Map of the study area depicting the locations of a shallow reef and both longline and drumline deployments at two surveyed sites. Adapted from Ferreira et al. (2012). Sourced from Hazin and Afonzo (2013).

 

A simple and humane technique may be an effective strategy to reduce human encounters with sharks without harming populations of threatened shark species.

Instead of using advanced (and relatively untested) technology to attempt to repel sharks or nondiscriminatory nets that kill other threatened sea life as bycatch, researchers have simply caught sharks and moved them to where they would not pose a threat to swimmers. The Shark Monitoring Program of Recife, Brazil, reported  approximately 100% survival of protected species and a 97% decrease in shark attacks when the strategy was used over 8 years.

“Scientists and environmentalists all over the world are concerned about lethal shark control measures like those used in Western Australia. This research shows that non-lethal techniques can help make swimmers safe,” said Dr. David Shiffman, who authored a commentary on the strategy in Animal Conservation.