Protecting Endangered Sharks Using Satellites

Source: BBC News/Helen Briggs

Photo: SpaceX/Unsplash

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Satellites scanning the oceans are a valuable new tool to protect sharks, according to scientists.

A review of evidence suggests endangered sharks can be protected from threats such as illegal fishing, using the technology.

Whales, turtles and birds are already being monitored from space, raising hopes that the technique can be applied in the conservation of other species.

Many sharks are on the brink of extinction.

Populations of sharks, rays and skates (elasmobranchs) have declined dramatically over the past 50 years.

“New technologies such as this are going to be really important to the conservation of sharks,” said Michael Williamson of the Zoological Society London (ZSL) and King’s College, London.

Over-fishing is one of the biggest causes of the decline in sharks, through accidental or illegal targeting.

Predictive models based on big data analysis will be the future in marine conservation, said Maria Jose Cornax of the ocean conservation charity, Oceana, which was not involved in the study.

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Photo: SpaceX/Unsplash

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