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New research on migratory behavior of oceanic whitetip sharks can help shape conservation strategies
Date:2/20/2013

this species in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which will be considered at its upcoming Conference of Parties meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, March 3-14 of this year.

World renowned for its healthy shark populations and proactive conservation stance, The Bahamas is one of the few places left in the world where this open-ocean species can be found in relatively large numbers. In July 2011, during the timeframe of this study, The Bahamas banned all commercial fishing of sharks throughout the 630,000 square kilometers of surrounding ocean waters. The sharks now benefit from this protection, and the shark diving industry, a major contributor to the Bahamian economy, benefits from their presence in surrounding waters. Additionally, recent studies have shown ecosystem health is dependant, in part, on the presence of apex predators like sharks.

"The Bahamian government had the foresight to protect these and other species of sharks within their waters, starting with the longline fishing ban in early 90s, and culminating with the more recent shark sanctuary initiative," said Edd Brooks, program manager of the Shark Research and Conservation Program at the Cape Eleuthera Institute. "This level of protection is vital for the continued existence of these important apex predators, and I hope that the example set by The Bahamas will encourage other nations to follow suit."


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Contact: Cindy Yeast
cdyeast@earthlink.net
720-542-9455
The Institute for Ocean Conservation Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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