Dr. Hammerschlag’s lab at the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science just published new findings that suggest the expansion of protected areas into U.S. federal waters would safeguard 100% of core home range areas used by three species of sharks tracked in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, including tiger sharks, bull sharks, and great hammerhead sharks.
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The Bahamas declared a ban on all commercial shark fishing in its more than 650,000 square kilometers (251,000 square miles) of waters under their federal EEZ recently in 2011. The state of Florida enacted new measures the next year to fully protect four shark species, including tiger and great hammerhead sharks, by prohibiting their harvest and possession in state waters. These new findings have important implications for marine conservation and spatial planning, such as to better evaluate the effectiveness of current, and placement of future MPAs, according to the researchers.
“Our results will help enable policy makers to make more informed decisions when developing conservation plans for these species, particularly when considering a place-based management approach,” said UM Rosenstiel School alumna Fiona Graham, the lead author of the study.
Here’s where to find the full article: Use of marine protected areas and exclusive economic zones in the subtropical western North Atlantic Ocean by large highly mobile sharks
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