The Shark’s Voice: Newly discovered shark twin to the endangered scalloped hammerhead shark.

“Twin” hammerhead shark species sparks concern

A scalloped hammerhead shark (Save Our Seas Foundation/Peter Verhoog)

(OurAmazingPlanet) Scientists recently confirmed that endangered scalloped hammerhead sharks have a fishy twin – a newfound species, still unnamed, that is distinct, yet very closely resembles the threatened sharks.

The case of mistaken identity indicates that scallopedhammerhead sharks are even more scarce than once thought, according to some researchers.

Since it’s very hard to tell the two species apart – only differences in their DNA and number of vertebrae reveal their true identities – it’s likely that previous assessments of scalloped hammerhead sharks exaggerated their numbers because the counts likely included the look-alike sharks.

“It’s a classic case of long-standing species misidentification that not only casts further uncertainty on the status of the real scalloped hammerhead, but also raises concerns about the population status of this new species,” Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center professor Mahmood Shivji said in a statement.

Shivji’s team at the Florida university first discovered the new hammerhead species in 2005 when examining the DNA of sharks thought to be scalloped hammerheads based on their physical appearance. A research team from the University of South Carolina independently confirmed the existence of the new species in 2006.

Combined genetic assessments from both institutions show that at least 7 percent of the sharks in U.S. waters originally thought to be scalloped hammerheads turned out to be the newly identified species.

Now, researchers have found the unnamed shark, a so-called “cryptic” species, swimming in waters off the coast of Brazil, thousands of miles from where the species was initially discovered. The find indicates the cryptic species is widespread, and may be facing similar pressure as its nearly identical cousin.

Shark populations around the world have declined precipitously in recent decades, with millions of the iconic fish falling victim to the grisly practice of finning.

Shark fins fetch a high price in China, where they are used for shark fin soup.

Shark finning is largely banned in the United States, and many individual states have banned the trade and possession of shark fins. However, evidence from around the world indicates that finning continues to claim millions of shark lives each year.

Source: CBS NEWS

Newly Discovered Shark Species Almost A Twin to the Endangered Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

March 26, 2012 By  Leave a Comment

Shark Species

Is The Endangered Scalloped Hammerhead Shark Species More Endangered Than Initially Thought?

Image: duron123 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A new shark species has yet to be named, but resembles the hammerhead species that is being fished for its prized fins. The scalloped hammerhead shark has been labeled as endangered, but now it is unknown just how rare the species is as scientists have discovered at least 7% of sharks thought to be the scalloped hammerhead species have identified as the new shark species.

“It’s a classic case of long-standing species misidentification that not only casts further uncertainty on the status of the real scalloped hammerhead but also raises concerns about the population status of this new species,” Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center professor Mahmood Shivji said. “It’s very important to officially recognize, name and learn more about this new hammerhead species and the condition of its populations through systematic surveys. Without management intervention to curtail its inadvertent killing, we run the risk that overfishing could eradicate an entire shark species before its existence is even properly acknowledged.”

Millions and millions of sharks are being killed throughout the world for their meat and their fins, known as finning, so shark populations have been declining. Delicacies such as Shark Fin Soup make the price high in areas such as China. Shark finning in the United States is not a legal act nor is even possessing shark fins as the danger of upsetting ecosystem balance is of great concern.

As far as the scalloped hammerhead sharks, the finding of the new shark species that only varies according to their DNA and the number of vertebrae they have, the numbers for scalloped hammerheads are most likely a lot smaller than previously thought.

The new shark species was initially found off eastern United States in 2005, but now has also been discovered off of the coast of southern Brazil. Finding the species thousands of miles from where the initial shark was found proves its existence is widespread.

The article about the new shark species can be found in the April 2012 edition of the scientific journal Marine Biology. The research on this matter is being completed at the NSU-OC’s Save Our Seas Shark Center USA and Guy Harvey Research Institute.

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service is now reviewing the status of the scalloped hammerhead to determine if the shark species should be listed as threatened or endangered according to the regulations of the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) already has the scalloped hammerhead shark on their red list of endangered species.

Source: Epost Media

New hammerhead shark double is threatened and threatening

Hollywood – The existence of a new shark species discovered in 2005 is endangering the scalloped hammerhead shark. At the same time scientists say, the shark – almost the hammerhead’s double, is itself at risk from shark finning.
According to new research by the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center (NSU-OC) Save Our Seas Shark Center USA, and Guy Harvey Research Institute, a new species of hammerhead is not only more widespread than initially thought, but its presence could be having a negative impact on its look-alike cousin, the scalloped hammerhead.

DNA analysis is estimating the sharks separated from each other approximately 4.5 million years ago, yet the new species – only discovered in 2005 by NSU-OC professor Mahmood Shivji, Ph.D. and his team, has not been named or thoroughly studied. Shivja suggests that without further data on the shark’s prevalence, scientists cannot know the impact it has had on its cousin, or whether it too, is vulnerable to the practice of shark finning.

Shivji’s team unearthed the existence of the new species in 2005, after examining the DNA of what they believed was a scalloped hammerhead. Independent tests conducted by the University of South Carolina in 2006, also confirmed the new species of shark. Despite similarities to its cousin, researchers said, the “look-alike species has approximately 20 fewer vertebrae than the scalloped hammerhead, in the range of 170 vs. 190.”

Concerns were elevated in April 2012 NSU-OC explained, after an article in the scientific journal Marine Biology, revealed the new hammerhead species more than 4,300 miles away near the coast of southern Brazil. This confirmed that the original finding was “not a local oddity” and the new species was much wider spread. As a result, Shivji said:

It’s very important to officially recognize, name and learn more about this new hammerhead species and the condition of its populations through systematic surveys.”

Danillo Pinhal, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the UNESP-São Paulo State University in Brazil and former visiting graduate who assisted Shivji in 2009, agreed, adding:

“The finding of this species all the way down in Brazilian waters, where hammerhead sharks are heavily fished, raises concerns about the population status of both species not just in U.S. waters but throughout the western Atlantic. It’s an international issue now and it’s essential that further research on this new species be conducted in Brazilian waters.”

SAVE OUR SEAS FOUNDATION/PETER VERHOOG
This new species of hammerhead shark closely mimics the scalloped hammerhead, but has 20 fewer vertebrae.

Studies and genetic assessments by NSU and South Carolina researchers have revealed that at least 7 percent of the sharks in U.S. waters originally thought to be scalloped hammerheads, turned out to be the new species. Their presence in southern Brazil says NSU-OC, “means they may face the same fishery pressures as the real scalloped hammerhead, which is being fished unsustainably for its highly prized fins.”

Shivji worries that “long-standing species misidentification” has cast uncertainty on the status of the real scalloped hammerhead which is currently under review by the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, and is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) red list. The new shark species doesn’t appear on either list says NSU-OC.

Shivji sees this as a problem. “Without management intervention to curtail its inadvertent killing,” Shivji explains, “we run the risk that overfishing could eradicate an entire shark species before its existence is even properly acknowledged.”

Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is the eighth largest not-for-profit independent institution nationally with more than 28,000 students. Its Oceanographic Center (OC) is located in Hollywood, Fla., and has offered graduate and undergraduate marine science education and oceanographic research for more than 48 years. NSU’s Guy Harvey Research Institute, provides the scientific information for the management and conservation of the world’s marine fishes and their ecosystems.

Source: Digital Journal

Newly discovered hammerhead shark raises concerns over fin hunts ban

Identity confusion between a newly discovered species of shark and the closely related hammerhead shark is raising concerns that the as-yet unnamed shark could face the threat of unsustainable fishing practices.

Scientists say the new look-alike hammerhead species, first discovered off the coast of the U.S., has been discovered nearly 4,300 miles away off the coast of Brazil. Scientists say the discovery proves the species is widespread, adding that it also proves that scalloped hammerhead sharks remain scare.

The look-alike species may face the same fishery threats as the real, endangered scalloped hammerhead, say scientists. The hammerhead is currently a protected species in the U.S., as it is currently hunted for its fins, researchers say.

“It’s a classic case of long-standing species misidentification that not only casts further uncertainty on the status of the real scalloped hammerhead but also raises concerns about the population status of this new species,” said researcher Mahmood Shivji, who lead the study.The discovery raises concerns that the newly discovered species of shark may face a similar threat, and that similar protections may necessary. Scientists note that the main difference between the two species — DNA — make it likely that recent estimates of scalloped hammerhead shark populations are exaggerated.

Mr. Shiji’s team first discovered the new hammerhead species in 2005 when collecting samples from scalloped hammerhead sharks. A research team from the University of South Carolina independently confirmed the existence of the new species in 2006.

Concerns that the unnamed shark species could face similar threats comes as lawmakers across the U.S. have sought to implement protections for sharks hunted for highly-prized fins. More than 70 million sharks are harvested every year for their fins alone; a number equivalent to the population of California, Texas and Pennsylvania combined.

Earlier this year, President Obama signed federal legislation tightening a ban on shark finning in U.S. waters. The sale or trade of shark fins, however, is still legal in the majority of American states. Lawmakers in the state of California recently passed a measure aimed at outlawing the hunting of sharks for their fins.

The issue of protecting various creatures has also made its way to the campaign trail, where Republican candidates for president have weighed in. Speaking earlier this year, former Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senator Rick Santorum explained his opposition to the Endangered Species Act, saying he would seek additional changes to the law that lessen the impact.

“I know that from personal experience in Pennsylvania, and look at the Central Valley of California. There are so many places that we put critters above people,” said Mr. Santorum at the time. It’s a radical ideology that says we are here to serve the Earth instead of man having dominion over the Earth to serve him and to be a good steward of that Earth.”

Various species of shark face the threat of fin hunting. Shark fin is a traditional ingredient in Chinese cooking, and it is typically found in shark fin soup, which can command anywhere from $35 and $100 per bowl. While the U.S. has put in place bans on such practices, in international waters shark fishers will often pull the animal on board and slice its fin while it’s still alive before tossing it back into the ocean to drown.

Source: The State Column


Editorial: Selvavidasinfronteras.org

Selvavidasinfronteras.wordpress.com

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~ by FSVSF Admin on 28 March, 2012.

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