Where Blue Sharks Cross Paths with Commercial Fishing, Ecological Problems Lurk
Ten blue sharks were tagged in June 2016 off the East Coast of the U.S., and satellites then collected information about them for 110 days. Working with shark researchers Dr. Neil Hammerschlag (University of Miami) and Dr. Austin Gallagher (Beneath the Waves), the shark tracks have been added to a custom workspace in Global Fishing Watch in an interactive map that portrays these sharks’ interactions with nearby commercial fishing vessels.
The project was summarized in a November 2017 paper authored by Mariah Pfleger, Lacey Malarky, Beth Lowell and Lora Snyder. The paper discusses sharks’ roles in the marine ecosystem, the problem of interaction with fishing vessels and highlights the use of the Global Fishing Watch technology to address the problem.
The study was sponsored by Oceana, a cooperation between The Pew Charitable Trusts, Oak Foundation, Marisla Foundation (formerly Homeland Foundation) and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund that was formed to focus exclusively on global ocean conservation.