Saturday, March 3, 2007


"The goal of this project, headed by Ransom Myers of Dalhousie University, is to protect large sharks and their ecosystems. The aims are three-fold: to locate data and develop analysis techniques that demonstrate the magnitude of the declines in shark populations on a global scale, to effectively communicate the results, and to advance conservation action. The strategy for producing this global synthesis of data is to link existing raw data from around the world with modeling expertise and then to present the findings to the general public.Since Dr. Myers and colleagues launched the Pew Global Shark Assessment in October of 2003, we have obtained the first glimpses of what we have lost from our pelagic ecosystems. The ongoing analysis of the Myers research lab will continue to reveal the status of global shark populations and the implications for our ocean ecosystems.Drastic Declines in Shark Populations in the Gulf of MexicoIn February 2004, Baum and Myers published “Shifting baselines and the decline of pelagic sharks in the Gulf of Mexico” in Ecology Letters. This research developed a ‘scientific snapshot’ of what shark populations in the Gulf of Mexico looked like in the mid-1950s and compared these abundances with recent shark abundance data. Baum and Myers revealed that oceanic whitetip sharks have been reduced by 99%, or 150-fold in numbers (300-fold in biomass), and continue to decline (see Figure 1). Other commonly caught shark species, silky and dusky sharks, were estimated to have declined by 91 and 79%, respectively." For the rest of this article, click

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