Look Out, Great White Sharks May be Making a Comeback
Great white sharks are among the largest, most widespread predators in the ocean, and ones that Hollywood loves to hate. But, they are surprisingly quite vulnerable, though new research shows that populations show promise of making a comeback. "White sharks possess life history traits that make them vulnerable to exploitation."
"These sharks can live 70 years or more, mature late, and do not produce many young. Their status and highly valued jaws and fins have made them the target of recreational and trophy fisheries in areas where their populations are not protected."
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, used records over the last 200 years to compile the most comprehensive set of data on seasonal distribution patterns and historic trends of great white sharks, or Carcharodon carcharias, in the North Atlantic Ocean.
While scientists certainly have a number of recorded sightings of white sharks, data previously available made it difficult to pin down just where they would be and when.
"White sharks in the Northwest Atlantic are like a big jigsaw puzzle, where each year we are given only a handful of pieces," said study leader and shark researcher Tobey Curtis.