Sharks play an essential rol in the health of our oceans


Where have all the sharks gone?

The second pocket shark ever discovered…


Our ocean still holds many secrets. Regularly, new species are discovered. Also species of sharks. And there could be more sharks ‘on the way’. But how can you protect something if you don’t even know it exists?  

“Sharks,” you’re thinking, “that’s not a problem, everyone knows sharks exist. They even have their own week on the Discovery Channel.” Well, we hear a lot about the great white and whale sharks, but there are more than 500 species of sharks. If you add their relativesskates and rays, it’s more like 1,200 species! And only a very small percentage of those get attention, conservation efforts, or even just studied, period”, tells David Ebert,  from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, an academy research associate who is a shark specialist for the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), the organization responsible for the Red List, assessing the conservation status (from Least Concern to Extinct) for many of the species on this planet. David Ebert, wants people to know about these “Lost Sharks” – the species hardly anyone seems to care about.

He also wants to educate people about the fact, that species distribution can be very different from what scientists think. Which areas need protection, in which areas is fisheries management dearly needed? We just do not know.

Recently, a second ‘pocket shark’ was discovered. It as collected in 2010, south of Lousiana, and stayed in the NOAA freezer, but was not discovered in the lab until three years ago. The first pocket shark was found 36 years ago on the Naska Submarine Ridge in 1,083 feet of water in the southeast Pacific Ocean off Peru. The female specimen is 17 inches long and is currently housed in a Russian museum.
How many more of those shark and ray species could exist, and even disappear without us ever seeing them?


A rare river shark, Glyphis glyphis

In the book ‘Sharks of the World’, published in 2014, by David Ebert, Sarah Fowler, Leonard Compagno and Marc Dando, over 500 shark species are described. It describes rare sharks like river sharks of the genus Glyphis. But there could be many more…



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