JEDDAH: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has concluded a scientific study on fishing activities of sharks, centered on ecologically important shark hotspots worldwide.
The results of the study could provide a blueprint for deciding where to place large-scale marine protected areas (MPAs) in the future.
Carlos Duarte, professor of marine science at KAUST, said that an international team of over 150 scientists from 26 countries collated movement data from nearly 2,000 sharks tracked with satellite transmitter tags.
“This study is dedicated to shark migration, in order to identify their breeding sites in oceans with unprecedented accuracy, and to ensure collaboration in matters of research among scientists from around the globe to meet the challenges of protecting and conserving the marine environment,” he said.
Duarte added that the research highlights the need for, and power of, collaboration between scientists to better understand the challenges of global ocean conservation.
He claimed the work would help enhance the study and safeguarding of marine life, and especially of endangered species. Detailed maps of shark-heavy seas in relation to active fisheries, he said, could provide a “blueprint” to identify potential marine protection zones, in order to provide safe havens for sharks from industrial fishing.