GBR Shark Populations declining

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Great Barrier Reef shark populations are declining rapidly due to fishing according to research published in the December 5th issue of the journal Current Biology.

The paper says that “no-take zones” — areas where fishing is prohibited — can be effective in protecting sharks but only when the no-take regulations are strictly enforced.

Examining two common species of sharks on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the researchers found that both populations are in the midst of a rapid population decline — 7% per year for white tip sharks and 17% per year for gray reef sharks, showing that current shark conservation strategies are not effective.

“These findings indicate that current management of no-take areas is inadequate for protecting reef sharks, even in one of the world