Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Deep Water Sharks Like the Bahamas

Scientists working in the deep waters off the Bahamas have reported finding a variety of deep water sharks about which very little is known. They have names like sixgill and sawtail catshark, according to the Tribune of the Bahamas.

The sharks live in about 640 feet of water. To give perspective, scuba divers who go to 100 feet are considered very experienced to expert. Many deep water sharks have been around since dinosaurs, or between 230 to 60 million years ago.

This is one of those stories that illustrate the fascinating lack of knowledge we have about the ocean by highlighting some cool species yet come with the bad news that humans are already looking for ways to make money off these nearly uncharted waters.

Until recently these deep water environments acted as a refuge from human exploitation, however, as stocks of fish closer to the ocean surface are subjected to overfishing, commercial interests are turning their attention to the deep, scientists said.

Many of these deep water sharks are being exploited without any understanding of their biology and ecology on which to base management decisions, according to the story.

Oops, there we go again.

Read more here.


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