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Endangered whale sharks face significant threat from shipping

Endangered whale sharks face significant threat from shipping
A new study in which an international team, including BIOPOLIS/CIBIO-InBIO researchers, indicate that industrialised shipping may be leading to a large number of whale shark deaths across the world has featured widely in national and international media.

The article, published by the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), shows that lethal collisions of whale sharks with large ships are vastly underestimated, and could be the reason why populations are falling.

The team mapped shark 'hotspots' which overlapped with global fleets of cargo, tanker, passenger, and fishing vessels – the types of large ships capable of striking and killing a whale shark – to reveal that over 90 per cent of whale shark movements fell under the footprint of shipping activity.

The scientists say that this species faces an uncertain future if action is not taken soon. At present there are no international regulations to protect whale sharks against ship collisions and they hope their findings can inform management decisions and protect whale sharks from further population declines in the future.

To see some examples of the news please click on the links below:

To read the national press release for this study, please click here

To access the original article, please click here

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