Shark Conservation Has Been Almost TOO Successful?!

( – Shark conservation is something that has been worked on for decades, but now researchers are looking for ways to curb the interaction between sharks and humans as the shark population continues to grow.

One particular issue that many fishermen are having is sharks eating the fish they eat the catch. Ultimately there is one solution to this that they have suggested which would be a small device that would shock sharks that attempt to eat the catch.

This device, called the SharkGuard, attaches to the fishing line in place of a sinker which is about ten inches away from the bait. The shock is comparable to a prank pen which sends a shirt pulse to aggravate the pores that sharks use to detect prey. “It’s a sense we don’t have. It doesn’t seem to hurt them, but they don’t enjoy the sensation,” said Demian Chapman, senior scientist and director for the Center for Shark Research in Sarasota.

Researchers at the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium are conducting their own tests in a laboratory that holds sixty thousand gallons of water so they can visually see the device’s effectiveness.

The testing will allow them to also see the shark’s reaction to the device up close. So far they have tested this on hammerhead sharks and bonnethead sharks.

Another big issue that this device would fix is sharks becoming a victim of fishing bycatch. It’s estimated that one hundred million sharks are killed per year in the United States as a result of fishing bycatch.

Mote has been researching sharks and tagging them when they can to better understand them. In recent years they’ve seen the amount of tagged sharks increasing which shows the increase in shark populations.

“We don’t know if they’re at the level where they need to be to be important for the ecosystem, ” Chapman said. “But we do know there’s more of them, and so we have to learn how to live with them again.”

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