NEWSLETTER 07/08/2014 28.07.2014

Please acknowledge use of the database www.shark-references.com in your publications, and cite: 

Pollerspöck, J. 2014, Bibliography database of living/fossil sharks, rays and chimaeras (Chondrichtyes: Elasmobranchii, Holocephali), www.shark-references.com, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 2014


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New images at shark-references:

Many thanks to the following persons for the permission to use their images:

Please support shark-references and send your images to: info@shark-references.com

Missing papers:

Many thanks to all friends of shark-references, who send me some missing papers last month!

Shark-References would kindly like to ask you for your contribution to this project.

At the moment I search e.g. the following papers:

Mountain Geologist

EDWARDS, P.    1976    Fossil sharks (Pisces, Selachii) from the Codell Sandstone, Pueblo County, Colorado.    Mountain Geologist, 13: 67-70

EVETTS, M.J.    1979    Upper Cretaceous sharks from the Black Hills region, Wyoming and South Dakota.    Mountain Geologist, 16: 59-66

CICIMURRI, D.J.    2000    Early Cretaceous elasmobranchs from the Newcastle Sandstone (Albian) of Crook County, Wyoming.    Mountain Geologist, 37: 101-107

CICIMURRI, D.J.    2001    Fossil selachians from the Belle Fourche Shale (Cretaceous, Cenomanian), Black Hills region of South Dakota and Wyoming.    Mountain Geologist, 38: 181-192

Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences

BARDACK, D. 1968 Fossil vertebrates from the marine Cretaceous of Manitoba. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 5 (1): 145-153

MASSON, A.G. & RUST, B.R. 1984 Freshwater shark teeth as paleoenvironmental indicators in the Upper Pennsylvanian Morien Group of the Sydney Basin, Nova Scotia Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 21 (10): 1151-1155

FIELITZ, C. 1996 A Late Cretaceous (Turonian) ichthyofauna from Lac des Bois, Northwest Territories, Canada, with paleobiogeographic comparisons with Turonian ichthyofaunas of the Western Interior Seaway.Canadian. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 33: 1375-1389



Please support www.shark-references.com and send missing papers (not listed papers or papers without the infosymbol) to juergen.pollerspoeck@shark-references.com.




IV Encuentro Colombiano sobre Condrictios:

place: Universidad EAFIT de Medellín, Colombia

date: 20. - 24. October 2014

more information

New information about the colombian meeting on

Chondricthyes is avaiable!

Use the following downloadlink (in spain).




EEA 2014 European Elasmobranch Association – Annual Scientific Conference 18 years on – Prepared for the Future

The Dutch Elasmobranch Society is proud to host the 18th Annual Scientific Conference of the European Elasmobranch Association from 7th to 9th November 2014 at the Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.

Elasmobranchs are increasingly included in high level policy agreements. The conference will provide a platform for those involved in international science and policy and aims to help coordinate the information necessary for the development and implementation of management measures for rays and sharks in European waters. EEA 2014 will be of interest to all those who are involved in the study, management and conservation of chondrichthyans (sharks, skates, rays and chimaeras).

The three-day conference will include theme sessions on policy making, restoration measures, integrated management, husbandry and captive management, tagging and other subjects. The collection, availability and sharing of data will be an underlying theme. There will be plenary talks, a poster session and opportunities for networking and socialising. In addition an excursion will be offered on the last day.

Leeuwarden is a vibrant town with a charming centre and a wide selection of hotels and restaurants. It is the capital city of the northern Province of Fryslân and will be the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2018. There is a twice hourly train service from Schiphol (one direct, one with one connection) and it is easy to reach by road.

See www.elasmobranch.nl/EEA2014 for preliminary details on the conference.

Contact: eea2014@elasmobranch.nl

New described species/Taxonomic News:


Carcharhinus humani WHITE & WEIGMANN, 2014, holotype, ZMH 26030, adult male 828 mm TL, © Simon Weigmann, University of Hamburg
image: Carcharhinus humani WHITE & WEIGMANN, 2014, holotype, ZMH 26030, adult male 828 mm TL, © Simon Weigmann, University of Hamburg
WHITE, W.T. & WEIGMANN, S. (2014): Carcharhinus humani sp. nov., a new whaler shark (Carcharhiniformes:Carcharhinidae) from the western Indian Ocean. Zootaxa, 3821 (1): 71–87

New species: Carcharhinus humani

Abstract: A new species of whaler shark, Carcharhinus humani sp. nov., is described based on five type specimens from the western Indian Ocean near the Socotra Islands, off Kuwait, Mozambique, and South Africa. The new species represents the fifth species of the C. dussumieri/sealei group and the third species of the C. sealei subgroup. The new species is the only species of the C. sealei subgroup known from the western Indian Ocean. Within the C. sealei subgroup, C. humani differs from C. sealei in having a sharply demarcated black apical marking on the second dorsal fin which does not extend onto body surface (vs. black marking diffuse-edged and usually extending onto upper sides of trunk), a longer horizontal prenarial length (4.1–4.7 vs. 3.4–4.2% TL), and a longer preoral length (6.8–7.6 vs. 5.7–6.5% TL); C. humani differs from C. coatesi in having a taller second dorsal fin (its height 4.0–4.5 vs. 2.9–3.6% TL), a shorter first dorsal fin (its length 13.4–14.6 vs. 14.8–17.3% TL), and more vertebrae (total centra 152–167 vs. 134–147).



GINTER, M. & DUFFIN, C.J. & DEAN, M.T. & KORN, D. (2014): Late Viséan pelagic chondrichthyans from northern Europe. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, in press

New species: Thrinacodus dziki

Abstract: The relatively rich assemblages of shark teeth from pelagic limestones (Mississippian, late Viséan, late Asbian–middle Brigantian) of three northern European regions: the Rhenish Mountains (Westenfeld Quarry, Germany), the Holy Cross Mountains (Todowa Grząba at the edge of Ostrówka Quarry, Poland), and Derbyshire (Cawdor Quarry, Matlock, England, UK) display certain similarities, with the absolute predominance of the teeth of Falcatidae (small Symmoriiformes) and the constant presence of Thrinacodus spp. The largest and most diverse assemblage from Todowa Grząba contains at least three species of a falcatid Denaea, a xenacanthimorph Bransonella nebraskensis, a newly described phoebodontid Thrinacodus dziki sp. nov., a few ctenacanthiform and euselachian teeth, and two abraded euchondrocephalan dental elements. Anachronistidae, common in the most of late Viséan pelagic faunas, are absent from Todowa Grząba and Westenfeld. The material under study differs from the shallow-water chondrichthyan fauna, hitherto described from the Mississippian carbonate platform facies, by its taxonomic content (particularly almost total absence of Euchondrocephali), generally lower diversity, and higher frequency of small teeth.


PLEASE send your new papers to juergen.pollerspoeck@shark-references.com!

New Paper


Recent Papers:

ADAMS, D.H. & BORUCINSKA, J.D. & MAILLETT, K. & WHITBURN, K. & SANDER, T.E. (2014): Mortality due to a retained circle hook in a longfin mako shark Isurus paucus (Guitart-Manday). Journal of Fish Diseases, in press  http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfd.12277
AFONSO, P. & MCGINTY, N. & MACHETE, M. (2014): Dynamics of Whale Shark Occurrence at Their Fringe Oceanic Habitat. PLoS ONE, 9 (7): e102060  http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0102060
AKYOL, O. & CAPAPÉ, C. (2014): Distribution of blackchin guitarfish Rhinobatos cemiculus E. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817 (Elasmobranchii: Rhinobatidae) with first records from (I) over dot zmir Bay (Turkey, northeastern Aegean Sea). Turkish Journal of Zoology, 38 (4): 460-465   http://dx.doi.org/10.3906/zoo-1307-32
ANASTASSOV, I. & RIPPS, H. & CHAPPELL, R.L. (2014): Cytoprotection by endogenous zinc in the vertebrate retina. Journal of Neurochemistry, 129 (2): 249-255  http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jnc.12627
ARI, C. (2014): Rapid coloration changes of manta rays (Mobulidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, in press   http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bij.12321
BARRÍA, C. & NAVARRO, J. & COLL, M. & FERNANDEZ-ARCAYA, U. & SÁEZ-LIANTE, R. (2014): Morphological parameters of abundant and threatened chondrichthyans of the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, in press   http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jai.12499
BIKRAM, R. & ALAM, F. & RHAMAN, G. & SINGHA, N.K. & AKHTAR, A. (2014):Landing Trends, Species composition and Percentage composition of Sharks and Rays in Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. International Journal of Advanced Research in Biological Sciences, 1 (3): 81-93 
BOGORODSKY, S.V. & LAST, P.R. & ALPERMANN, T.J. & MAL, A.O. (2014):Records of Himantura granulata (Dasyatidae) and Rhinoptera jayakari (Rhinopteridae) from the Red Sea. Zoology in the Middle East, 60 (2): 144-153  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09397140.2014.914719
BURTON, A. (2014): Indonesia protects mantas. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 12 (3): 148-152   http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/1540-9295-12.3.148
BUSTAMANTE, C. & VARGAS-CARO, C. & BENNETT, M.B. (2014): Biogeographic patterns in the cartilaginous fauna (Pisces: Elasmobranchii and Holocephali) in the southeast Pacific Ocean. PeerJ, 2: e416   http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.416
CHANG, C.-H. & SHAO, K.-T. & LIN, Y.-S. & CHIANG, W.-C. & JANG-LIAW, N.-H. (2014): Complete mitochondrial genome of the megamouth shark Megachasma pelagios (Chondrichthyes, Megachasmidae). Mitochondrial DNA, 25 (3): 185-187  http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/19401736.2013.792068
DABRUZZI, T.F. & BENNETT, W.A. (2014): Hypoxia effects on gill surface area and blood oxygen-carrying capacity of the Atlantic stingray, Dasyatis sabina. Fish Physiology and Biochemistry, 40 (4): 1011-1020   http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10695-013-9901-8
DALEY, R.K. & WILLIAMS, A. & GREEN, M. & BARKER, B. & BRODIE, P. (2014):Can marine reserves conserve vulnerable sharks in the deep sea?
A case study of Centrophorus zeehaani (Centrophoridae), examined
with acoustic telemetry. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, in press   http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2014.05.017
DIAZ-JAIMES, P. & URIBE-ALCOCER, M. & HINOJOSA-ALVAREZ, S. & SANDOVAL-LAURRABAQUIO, N. & ADAMS, D.H. & GARCÍA DE LEÓN, F.J. (2014): The complete mitochondrial DNA of the bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas).Mitochondrial DNA, in press   http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/19401736.2014.913157
DICKEN, M.L.  (2014): Socio-economic aspects of the Sodwana Bay SCUBA diving industry, with a specific focus on sharks. African Journal of Marine Science, 36 (1): 39-47   http://dx.doi.org/10.2989/1814232X.2014.893257
FEIGE, M.J. & GRAEWERT, M.A. & MARCINOWSKI, M. & HENNIG, J. & BEHNKE, J. & AUSLAENDER, D. & HEROLD, E.M. & PESCHEK, J. & CASTRO, C.D. & FLAJNIK, M. & HENDERSHOT, L.M. & SATTLER, M. & GROLL, M. & BUCHNER, J. (2014): The structural analysis of shark IgNAR antibodies reveals evolutionary principles of immunoglobulins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111 (22): 8155-8160   http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1321502111
FRAZIER, B.S. & DRIGGERS, W.B. & ADAMS, D.H. & JONES, C.M. & LOEFER, J.K. (2014): Validated age, growth and maturity of the bonnethead Sphyrna tiburo in the western North Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Fish Biology, in press  http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfb.12450       
FRICKE, R. & ALLEN, G.R. & ANDRÉFOUËT, S. & CHEN, W.-J. & HAMEL, M.A. & LABOUTE, P. & MANA, R. & HUI, T.H. & UYENO, D. (2014): Checklist of the marine and estuarine fishes of Madang District, Papua New Guinea, western Pacific Ocean, with 820 new records. Zootaxa, 3832 (1): 1-247   http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3832.1.1       
GADIG, O.B.F. & GARRONE NETO, D. (2014): Notes on the feeding behaviour and swimming pattern of Manta alfredi (Chondrichthyes, Mobulidae) in the Red Sea. Acta Ethologica, 17 (2): 119-122   http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10211-013-0165-1       
GAJIĆ, A. & AGUIAR, O. & STEWART, R. (2014): Galeocerdo cuvier (Tiger shark): Extreme image closeup of dentin-enameloid molecules less than 1.0 nanometers.nternational Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 2: 161-166       
GALLAGHER, A.J. & ORBESEN, E.S. & HAMMERSCHLAG, N. & SERAFY, J.E. (2014): Vulnerability of oceanic sharks as pelagic longline bycatch. Global Ecology and Conservation, in press   http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2014.06.003       
GARRONE-NETO, D. & GADIG, O.B.F. & ZUANON, J. & CARVALHO, L.N. (2014):Cleaning interactions between shrimps (Palaemonidae) and freshwater stingrays (Potamotrygonidae) in the Paraná River, Southeastern Brazil. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 24 (4): 379-384        
GARRONE-NETO, D. & HADDAD, V. & GADIG, O.B.F. (2014): Record of ascending passage of potamotrygonid stingrays through navigation locks: implications for the management of non-native species in the Upper Paraná River basin, Southeastern Brazil. Management of Biological Invasions, 5 (2): 113–119   http://dx.doi.org/10.3391/mbi.2014.5.2.04       
JABADO, R.W. & AL GHAIS, S.M. & HAMZA, W. & HENDERSON, A.C. (2014): The shark fishery in the United Arab Emirates: an interview based approach to assess the status of sharks. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, in press  http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2477       
JEWELL, O.J.D. & WCISEL, M.A. & TOWNER, A.V. & CHIVELL, W. & VAN DER MERWE, L. & BESTER, M.N. (2014): Core habitat use of an apex predator in a complex marine landscape. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 506: 231-242  http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps10814       
JUHEL, J.B. & WANTIEZ, L. & MOUILLOT, D. & MAILAU, S. & VIGLIOLA, L. (2014): Occurrence of sub-adult tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) in a small and very remote atoll lagoon. Marine Biodiversity, in press   http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12526-014-0246-z       
KADRI, H. & MAROUANI, S. & BRADAI, M.N. & BOUAIN, A. & MORIZE, E. (2014):Age, Growth, Mortality, Longevity and Reproductive Biology of the White Skate, Rostroraja alba (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae) of the Gulf of Gabes (Southern Tunisia, Central Mediterranean). Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 14 (1): 193-204   http://dx.doi.org/10.4194/1303-2712-v14_1_21      
KIMURA, L.F. & PREZOTTO-NETO, J.P. & ANTONIAZZI, M.M. & JARED, S.G. & SANTORO, M.L .& BARBARO, K.C. (2014): Characterization of inflammatory response induced by Potamotrygon motoro stingray venom in mice. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 239 (5): 601-609   http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1535370214523704      
LONG, D.J. & SALA, E. & BALLESTEROS, E. & CASELLE, J.E. & FRIEDLANDER, A.M. & KLAPFER, A. & BLUM, S. & CONSTABLE, H.B. (2014): Summary of South American records of the smalltooth sand tiger shark Odontaspis ferox (Chondrichthyes: Odontaspidae), with the first record from Chilean waters. Marine Biodiversity Records, 7: e67   http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1755267214000700       
LYONS, K. & LAVADO, R. & SCHLENK, D. & LOWE, C.G. (2014): Bioaccumulation of organochlorine contaminants and ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase activity in southern California round stingrays (Urobatis halleri) exposed to planar aromatic compounds.  Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 33 (6): 1380-1390    http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.2564      
MARSHALL, A.D. & CONRADIE, J. (2014): Lamankera Manta Ray Fishery Expedition to Komodo & Alor, May 2014, Marine Megafauna Foundation: 8pp        
MITCHELL, J.D. & COLLINS, K.J. & MILLER, P.I. & SUBERG, L.A. (2014):Quantifying the impact of environmental variables upon catch per unit effort of the blue shark Prionace glauca in the western English Channel. Journal of Fish Biology, in press   http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfb.12448       
MIZUSAWA, K. & AMIYA, N. & YAMAGUCHI, Y. & TAKABE, S. & AMANO, M. & BREVES, J.P. & FOX, B.K. & GRAU, E.G. & HYODO, S. & TAKAHASHI, A. (2014):Errata: Identification of mRNAs coding for mammalian-type melanin-concentrating hormone and its receptors in the scalloped hammerhead shark Sphyrna lewini (vol 179, pg 78, 2012). General and Comparative Endocrinology, 201: 107  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2014.01.014       
MONFORT, A. & GUALLART J. & CORPA J.M. & CRESPO J.L. & GARCÍA-PÁRRAGA, D. & ORTEGA J. (2014): Granulomas espermáticos en ejemplares del tiburón de profundidad Centrophorus granulosus (Elasmobranchii, Centrophoridae). Abstract. Book of Abstracts XXVI Reunión de la Sociedads Española de Anatomía Patológica Veterinaria, Zaragoza, junio 2014: 29       
MUGURUMA, K. & STELL, W.K. & YAMAMOTO, N. (2014): A morphological classification of retinal ganglion cells in the Japanese Catshark Scyliorhinus torazame.Brain, Behavior and Evolution, 83 (3): 199-215   http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000358285      
OGUT, H. & ALTUNTAS, C. (2014): Survey of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus in wild fishes in the southeastern Black Sea. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 109 (2): 99-106   http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/dao02728       
ORLOV, A.M. (2014): New data on rare deep-water Mid-Atlantic skate Rajella kukujevi (Rajidae). Journal of Ichthyology, 54 (5): 317-337   http://dx.doi.org/10.1134/S0032945214030102       
RIGBY, C. & SIMPFENDORFER, C.A. (2014): Patterns in life history traits of deep-water chondrichthyans. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, in press   http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.09.004
SCENNA, L.B. & DÍAZ DE ASTARLOA, J.M. (2014): Reproductive biology of the Magellan skate, Bathyraja magellanica (Chondrichthyes, Rajidae), in the south-western Atlantic. Marine and Freshwater Research, in press   http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF13144      
SMITH, K. & PEARCE, A. & DOWLING, C. & FOTEDAR, S.  (2014): First record of Mobula japanica on the west coast of Australia. Marine Biodiversity Records, 7: e67  http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1755267214000724        
THORROLD, S.R. & AFONSO, P. & FONTES, J. & BRAUN, C.D. & SANTOS, R.S. & SKOMAL, G.B. & BERUMEN, M.L. (2014): Extreme diving behaviour in devil rays links surface waters and the deep ocean. Nature Communications, 5: 4274  http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms5274       
TOBIN, A.J. & MAPLESTON, A. & HARRY, A.V. & ESPINOZA, M. (2014): Big fish in shallow water; use of an intertidal surf-zone habitat by large-bodied teleosts and elasmobranchs in tropical northern Australia. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 97 (7): 821-838   http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10641-013-0182-y       
VELTE, F. (2013): Beiträge zu einem Ethogramm des Braungebänderten Bambushaies (Chiloscyllium punctatum Müller & Henle, 1838, Hemiscylliidae). [Contributions to an ethogramm of the Brownbanded Bambooshark (Chiloscyllium punctatum, Hemiscylliidae)]. Bulletin of Fish Biology, 14 (1/2): 11-24        
WHITE, J. & SIMPFENDORFER, C.A. & TOBIN, A.J. & HEUPEL, M.R. (2014):Spatial ecology of shark-like batoids in a large coastal embayment. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 97 (7): 773-786   http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10641-013-0178-7       
WHITE, W.T. & WEIGMANN, S. (2014): Carcharhinus humani sp. nov., a new whaler shark (Carcharhiniformes:Carcharhinidae) from the western Indian Ocean. Zootaxa, 3821 (1): 71–87   http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3821.1.5       
YANG, L. & NAYLOR, G.J.P. (2014): Long-PCR based next generation sequencing of the whole mitochondrial genome of the peacock skate Pavoraja nitida (Elasmobranchii: Arhynchobatidae). Mitochondrial DNA, in press   http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/19401736.2014.926497       
ZIGAITE, Z. & WHITEHOUSE, M. (2014): Stable oxygen isotopes of dental biomineral: differentiation at the intra- and inter-tissue level of modern shark teeth. GFF, 136 (1): 337-340   http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/11035897.2013.878747       
ZOGARIS, S. & DE MADDALENA, A. (2014): Sharks, blast fishing and shifting baselines: insights from Hass’s 1942 Aegean expedition. Cahiers de Biologie Marine, 55: 305-313        



PICKERING, M. & CAIRA, J.N. (2014): Seasonal dynamics of the cestode fauna in spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias (Squaliformes: Squalidae). Parasitology, 141 (7): 940-947 http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031182013002229



CICIMURRI, D.J. & EBERSOLE, J.A. (2014): Late Cretaceous chimaeroids (Chondrichthyes: Holocephali) from Alabama, USA. PaleoBios, 31 (2): 1–14 
GAJIĆ, A. & HANJALIĆ, J. & DAVIDOV, B. (2014): Frequency, taxonomy and morphology of diffrent shark taxa of Lower Paleogene and Upper Cretaceous from Morocco, North Arfica. Pluralidade: Revista Cientca Multidisciplinar, 3 (3), in press 
GARCIA, E.X.M. & BALBINO, A. & ANTUNES, M. & RUIZ, F. & CIVIS, J. & ABAD, M. & TOSCANO-GRANDE, A. & GONZALEZ-REGALADO, L.M. (2014): The Rajiforms (Chondrichthyes, Batomorphii) from the Lower Pliocene of Arenas de Huelva Formation, South West of Spain. Ameghiniana, 51 (3): 259-265  http://dx.doi.org/10.5710/AMGH.14.01.2014.608
GINTER, M. & DUFFIN, C.J. & DEAN, M.T. & KORN, D. (2014): Late Viséan pelagic chondrichthyans from northern Europe. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, in press  http://dx.doi.org/10.4202/app.00084.2014
ITANO, W.M. (2014): Edestus, the strangest shark? First report from New Mexico, North American paleobiogeography, and a new hypothesis on its method of predation.Mountain Geologist, 51 (3): 201-221 
KIM, S.L. & EBERLE, J.J. & BELL, D.M. & FOX, D.A. & PADILLA, A. (2014):Evidence from shark teeth for a brackish Arctic Ocean in the Eocene greenhouse.Geology, in press   http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G35675.1






New Study Reveals Vulnerability of Sharks as Collateral Damage in Commercial Fishing

UM Rosenstiel School and Abess Center-led study provides new information for shark conservation efforts


MIAMI –A new study that examined the survival rates of 12 different shark species when captured as unintentional bycatch in commercial longline fishing operations found large differences in survival rates across the 12 species, with bigeye thresher, dusky, and scalloped hammerhead being the most vulnerable. The study, led by researchers at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and UM Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy, provides new information to consider for future conservation measures for sharks in the Northwest Atlantic. The unintentional capture of a fish species when targeting another species, known as bycatch, is one of the largest threats facing many marine fish populations.

Researchers from UM and the National Marine Fisheries Service analyzed over 10 years of shark bycatch data from the western Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico tuna and swordfish longline fisheries to examine how survival rates of sharks were affected by fishing duration, hook depth, sea temperature, animal size and the target fish. Some species, such as the tiger shark, exhibited over 95% survival, whereas other species survival was significantly lower, in the 20-40% range, such as night shark and scalloped hammerheads.

“Our study found that the differences in how longline fishing is actually conducted, such as the depth, duration, and time-of-day that the longlines are fished can be a major driver of shark survival, depending on the species,” said UM Rosenstiel School Ph.D student and lead author Austin Gallagher. “At-vessel mortality is a crucial piece of the puzzle in terms of assessing the vulnerability of these open-ocean populations, some of which are highly threatened.”

The researchers also generated overall vulnerability rankings of species taking into account not only their survival, but also reproductive potential. They found that species most at risk were those with both very slow reproductive potential and unusual body features, such as hammerheads and thresher sharks. The paper’s authors suggest that bycatch likely played an important role in the decline of scalloped hammerhead species in the Northwest Atlantic, which has been considered for increased international and national protections, such as the U.S. Endangered Species List.

The researchers suggest that high at-vessel mortality, slow maturity, and specialized body structures combine for the perfect mixture to become extinction-prone.

“Our results suggest that some shark species are being fished beyond their ability to replace themselves,” said UM Research Assistant Professor Neil Hammerschlag. “Certain sharks, such as big eye threshers and scalloped hammerheads, are prone to rapidly dying on the line once caught and techniques that reduce their interactions with fishing gear in the first place may be the best strategy for conserving these species.”


The study, titled “Vulnerability of oceanic sharks as pelagic longline bycatch” was published online in the open-access journal Global Ecology and Conservation.

The study’s co-authors include Austin Gallagher, Neil Hammerschlag from the UM RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, and Joseph Serafy aEric Orbesen from the NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center.

hammerhead shark


About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit www.rsmas.miami.edu.



'Lost Sharks' Fade Away While Great Whites Grab the Spotlight


"The quota that exists now is about 10 percent of the quota from 1993," said Dean Grubbs, a shark researcher at Florida State University's Coastal and Marine Laboratory.

Just this month, the federal government added the scalloped hammerhead shark to its endangered species list, which means "there will be special regulations to save them," said shark researcher Greg Cailliet, a professor emeritus at Moss Landing.

This is all well and good for great white sharks and hammerheads, but Ebert worries that lesser-known shark species like the honeycomb catshark are disappearing without any fanfare.

"It's too early for a call to arms, but we just don't know," Ebert said.

Gallery: Sharks of all sizes prowl the deep

How lost sharks are found

Ebert himself has found more than his share of lost sharks, through field studies as well as re-examinations of museum specimens. That's how he discovered a new kind of sawshark last year. He was sorting through specimens at the California Academy of Sciences — and determined that a shark captured and preserved back in 1966 was different from a species he and his colleagues had previously described, Pristiophorus nancyae.

The new species is now known officially as Pristiophorus lanae, or Lana's sawshark. "I named it after my niece," Ebert said.

Image: Pristiophorus lanaeDAVID EBERT
Shark researcher David Ebert named the shark species known as Pristiophorus lanae, or Lana's sawshark, after his niece.

The story is similar for the honeycomb catshark: The species was judged to be distinct from the Izak catshark in 2006, based on a close study of specimens collected in the 1970s in the Indian Ocean off the coast of southern Africa. It's listed as endangered, but no fresh specimens have been recorded in four decades, even though researchers now know what to look for.

Other sharks on Ebert's list of the lost include the Atlantic angel shark, the sixgill sawshark and the Natal shyshark. Some of those sharks are classified as endangered, while others have the label "data deficient," which means there's not enough information available to determine their status. That's the situation that Ebert wants to change.

"They might be perfectly fine, but nobody's looking for these things at all," Ebert said. "We need to be looking for them. ... I don't want to be sitting around in 10 years and saying, 'We used to see these things, but we don't see them around anymore.'"

NBC News dives in this week with an in-depth look at sharks and their relationship with humans. Look for full #SharkWatch coverage on TODAY, Nightly News and NBCNews.com.