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Researchers Explore New Breeding Ground For Hammerhead Sharks

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature considers the hammerhead shark an endangered species. They are not particularly fertile reproducers, and combined with a demand for their fins in Asia, the species is vulnerable.

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A scientist holds a hammerhead shark pup at a recently discovered nursery in Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, in this handout photo provided by the Galapagos National Park, Feb. 25, 2019. VOA

Researchers have found a new breeding ground for hammerhead sharks off the coast of Ecuador’s Galapagos archipelago.

The head of the team of researchers, Eduardo Espinosa, said the natural refuge off the island of Santa Cruz is home to about 20 of the sharks. The team managed to attach monitors to five of them.

“That site, where the babies spent two or three years, is important not only for the Galapagos but on a world scale, because it gives hope for the protection and conservation of a species,” Espinosa said.

The team hopes to monitor the sharks in an effort to protect both the predators and their environment.

A hammerhead shark nursery, recently discovered in Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, is seen in this Feb. 25, 2019 handout photo provided by the Galapagos National Park.
A hammerhead shark nursery, recently discovered in Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, is seen in this Feb. 25, 2019 handout photo provided by the Galapagos National Park. VOA

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature considers the hammerhead shark an endangered species. They are not particularly fertile reproducers, and combined with a demand for their fins in Asia, the species is vulnerable.

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Marine biologist Alex Hearn of San Francisco University in Quito said researchers believed that the hammerheads gave birth along continental coasts, so the discovery of the island nursery opens new lines of study. (VOA)

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Australia’s Use Of Drumlines Is Killing Endangered Shark Species

There are 173 drumlines that operate within the Great Barrier Reef.

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Great Barrier Reef, Pixabay

Protectionist groups on Tuesday warned that Australia’s use of drumlines under the country’s Shark Control Programme in the Great Barrier Reef is killing endangered shark species.

Humane Society International and the Australian Marine Conservation Society released a series of photographs and videos of two endangered scalloped hammerheads (Sphyrna lewini) found dead on a line near Magnetic Island in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Efe news reported.

“Lethal drumlines are an old and ineffective method of bather protection. They catch and kill hundreds of non-target marine animals in the Great Barrier Reef,” Nicola Beynon, head of campaigns at Humane Society International, said in a statement.

The Great Barrier Reef, Sharks
Agincourt Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

“Lethal drumlines provide nothing more than a completely false sense of security, at the expense of the lives of threatened species that are crucial to our Great Barrier Reef ecosystem,” she added.

Tooni Mahto, a campaign manager at the Australian Marine Conservation Society, said these “same ineffective, lethal methods” have been used by successive Queensland governments since the 1960s.

She called “for a change in our views of sharks and a change in policy to reflect that.”

According to Shark Control Programme statistics, 10,480 sharks – many of them innocuous – have been caught on lethal drumlines since 2001 in the Great Barrier Reef, declared a World Heritage area.

The Great Barrier Reef, Sharks
Lethal drumlines are an old and ineffective method of bather protection. They catch and kill hundreds of non-target marine animals in the Great Barrier Reef. Flickr

It has also killed a significant numbers of rays, turtles, fish and dolphins.

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“Humane Society International is currently engaged in legal action against the QLD Government and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for shark culling on lethal drumlines within the World Heritage-listed reef,” the statement said.

There are 173 drumlines that operate within the Great Barrier Reef, although the Queensland government has removed seven of the 26 species of shark from its target list since the legal challenge was launched. (IANS)