Study: Oceans 70 percent shark-free

February 22, 2006

An international team of scientists says the absence of sharks from abyssal regions of the world's oceans may mean some species are in danger of extinction.

The findings mean the world's oceans are about 70 percent shark-free, researchers said.

The oceans' abyssal zone remains in perpetual darkness at depths below 6,560 feet, with immense pressures of nearly five tons per square inch at its deepest.

It had been hoped that, as man explored deeper into the abyss, new shark species would be discovered. Scientists do not know why sharks are absent from the deep, but suggest one possible reason might be a lack of food.

They warn their finding has environmental implications. Professor Monty Priede, director of Oceanlab at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland said: "Sharks are already threatened worldwide by the intensity of fishing activity, but our finding suggests they may be more vulnerable to over-exploitation than was previously thought."

The findings are published in the Proceedings of The Royal Society, Biological Series.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Proving the effectiveness of shark nets in reducing attacks likely to be difficult

Related Stories

Tech solutions to tackle overfishing, labor abuse at sea

November 26, 2016

Fishing boats used high-tech systems to find vast schools of fish for decades, depleting stocks of some species and leading to the complete collapse of others. Now more than a dozen apps, devices and monitoring systems aimed ...

Recommended for you

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.