Shark-researchers could be causing abortions

Last Updated on December 13, 2021 by Divernet

archive – Diving NewsShark-researchers could be causing abortions

Well-meaning marine biologists could unwittingly be as complicit as fishers in contributing to depletion of shark and ray populations. The startling conclusion comes from a scientific report from University of Wollongong’s School of Biological Sciences in Australia.

Pregnant female sharks and rays are likely to abort their offspring when captured in nets or on fishing-lines, say the scientists in a study published in the Biological Conservation journal. 

They undertook what they say is the first synthesis of existing scientific data to find that premature births or abortions were common side-effects when sharks were caught, with an average of 24% of pregnant females losing their offspring when captured.

The researchers found instances of this happening across 88 different shark and ray species, including endangered and protected species, with some more susceptible than others.

They claimed that many marine biologists were unaware of the issue, and the fact that they too could be inducing abortions when capturing sharks and rays for tagging or study.

Lead author of the report Kye Adams advised that if anyone catching a shark suspected from its girth that it was pregnant it should be left in the water and handling-time minimised accordingly.

He also suggested that bans could be imposed on fishing around nursery areas, especially where endangered species were under threat.

The report can be viewed here.

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This week, it looks like DPV manufacturer ScubaJet has begun insolvency proceedings. PADI has distributed half a million dollars in their Project Aware campaign. Dorset coastguard have called off the search for a missing diver. And the Pearl Fleet has commented on a viral video of a shark-dive that didn’t go so well
https://taucher.net/diveinside-insolvency_proceedings_at_scubajet-kaz9246
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Sharks and Yum Yum Yellow. What are your thoughts? #askmark
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@emilyZA460
#AskMark hi! I was hoping you could help me understand the interchangeability of a DSMB and a simple SMB if I only plan to use it when I deploy it during my safety stop at 5 meters. I used the simple version for this purpose during my last liveaboard and despite occasionally having to reinflate at the surface due to some air escaping while being deployed underwater, it didn’t seem to be too problematic and so I was wondering if it’s necessary to have a DSMB for this purpose? The issue for me is that somehow I tend to end up misplacing my SMB quite often and so the price difference between the two makes it a more acceptable loss when it’s replacing the SMB regularly rather than the DSMB at double the cost
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