Sharks endangered by fishing

About a quarter of shark habitats are found in active fishing grounds, which may threaten iconic ocean predators. This conclusion, published in the British journal Nature, demonstrates the urgency in the protection of sharks.


Global Shark Spatial Risk Assessment Under the Fishing Footprint, the study led by the Marine Biological Association - MBA, compared 2,000 sharks, mapping their positions. The results were collected through an international panel, involving more than 150 scientists from 26 countries, including MARE – Centro de Ciências do Mar e do Ambiente: André Afonso and Frederic Vandeperre.


The researcher from MARE, from the Polytechnic of Leiria, André Afonso, warns: “This work is extremely important for the global scale in which it was conducted and for the implementation of the results obtained for the conservation of ocean resources. The study estimates that 24% of the dynamic area is made up of pelagic sharks on each occurs industrial fishing, indicating a rather steep exposure to species already exposed to fishing pressure. Blue and mako sharks reach 76% and 62% of spatial overlap with these fishing gear. Taking this into account, it is urgent to carry out protective measures in the ocean regions to protect large numbers of marine predators”.