Sharks are fish that have traditionally been considered to be of little interest for human consumption

Nov 24, 2009

Today, Tuesday 24th November
Sharks are fish that have traditionally been considered to be of little interest for human consumption However, statisics in recent years show that there is considerable fishing of these resources all over the world, as Dr. Ramón Bonfil, a researcher at the UBC Fisheries Centre in México, will be explaining today in the Oceanogràfic (aquarium).

In addition, he will be presenting a study on the migratory behaviour of the great white shark and the trans-oceanic distances these animals swim, registered via a satellite system.

Sharks have biological characteristics that make them very fragile to exploitation: they grow very slowly and reproduce very slowly too. As a result, they have low productiveness. In other words, their populations fall very quickly when faced with exploitation and they take a long time to recover from the collapse.

The incentive of high price and demand for shark fin in Asian markets partly explains the increase in catches on a global scale. Nevertheless, there is also the problem of accidental catches that are often not included in the official statistics.

Moreover, during the conference Dr. Bonfil will be presenting an ecological research project aimed at obtaining information to support measures for handling and conservation. This is a study on demarcation of habitat and the establishment of migratory behaviour for the great white shark, carcharodon carcharias, carried out by means of satellites.

The sixth edition of the “Oceanogràfic Tuesdays” conference cycle programme will be looking at the biology, conservation and management of shark populations, one of the zoological groups whose diversity and population have most decreased and which has some of the most serious implications for the proper balance of ecosystems.

In addition, at the same time as this sixth edition, an exhibition has been set up in collaboration with Protect the Sharks, with the aim of warning about the danger of extinction that over 100 million sharks face every year. The display is located in the Access Building to the Oceanogràfic and contains unique photographs, with pictures taken by some of the most important underwater photographers in the world.