Recent study on global shark mortality rates

A recently published study on global shark catch and mortality rates by researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada has been popping up in the mainstream news media. Many news agencies are reporting that the gist of the study is that “100 million sharks are killed every year.”

However, the report goes on to say that number of sharks killed annually could fall into the range of 63 million to 273 million. The study also estimates that between 6.4% and 7.9% of the global shark population are killed each year. This range exceeds an estimated rebound rate of 4.9% for many species of sharks, based on life history data of 62 different species of sharks. If these estimates are correct and the mortality rate exceeds the rebound rate for a particular species, a population decline in that particular species would be inevitable.

For more information, check out the full journal article, “Global catches, exploitation rates, and rebuilding options for sharks” by Worm et al.

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