[Coral-List] Shark Week!

Osmar Luiz osmarluizjr at gmail.com
Wed Aug 14 04:56:53 EDT 2013

I hope you all forgive me for this piece of shameless self-promotion. I would like to suggest the paper below that provides evidence not only that fishing is the main cause for shark declines but also shows the rapidity that an abundant population of sharks can be extirpated to local extinction.

Luiz, O.J. & Edwards, A. J. 2011. Extinction of a shark population in the Archipelago of Saint Paul's Rocks (equatorial Atlantic) inferred from the historical record. 
Biological Conservation 144:2873-288.


Osmar J. Luiz 
Department of Biological Sciences
Macquarie University
Sydney, NSW, 2109

e-mail: osmarluizjr at gmail.com
phone: +612 9850 8162
mobile: +61 0420817392

Publications list: http://publicationslist.org/osmar.luiz

On 14/08/2013, at 7:07 AM, Douglas Fenner <douglasfennertassi at gmail.com> wrote:

> The cause of the decline of reef sharks is of course fishing.  See:
> Ward-Page, CA, Mora, C, Lotze HK, Pattengill-Semmens, C, McClenachan, L, et
> al.  2010.  Large-scale absence of sharks on reefs in the greater
> Caribbean: A footprint of human pressures.  PLoS One 5(8): e11968.
> (available open-access for free)
> Nadon, M.C., Baum, J.K., Williams, I.D., McPherson, J.M., Zglicynski, B.J.,
> Richards, B.L., Schroeder, R.E., Brainard, R.E. Brainard, R.E.  2012.
> Re-creating
> missing population baselines for Pacific Reef Sharks.  Conservation Biology
> 26: 493-503.  (available through Google Scholar, just search for the title)
> Fishing is well known to usually remove the largest fish first (though
> there are exceptions), and that's true for fisheries other than coral reefs
> as well as on coral reefs.  The presence or absence of the largest reef
> fish is one of the most sensitive indicators of light fishing, since they
> are usually removed first, and only extremely remote or super well
> protected large areas have the large numbers of such large fish left.
> Sharks and goliath grouper (jewfish) in the Caribbean, and in the
> Indo-Pacific, sharks, humphead wrasse and bumphead parrots would be some of
> the most sensitive indicators of light fishing.  The sizes of the largest
> fish that are common is a good general rule-of-thumb indicator of fishing
> pressure, if the largest fish are common there is no fishing, if the
> largest common fish are 2 feet long and longer there is only light fishing,
> if the largest common fish are 1 foot fishing is moderately intense, if the
> largest common fish are 6 inches fishing is intense, if the largest are the
> size of tea bags then it is super intense.  Something along those lines, it
> is far from exact.
>     Overfishing is one of the greatest impacts humans have had on coral
> reefs.
> See:
> Fenner, D.  2009.  The largest reef fish species were gone most places in
> the world even before scientists knew about it.
> www.academia
> ..edu/2077695/The_Largest_Fish_on_Coral_Reefs_were_the_First_to_Go
> Managing reef fisheries is not easy.  For a review, see:
> Fenner, D. 2012.  Challenges for managing fisheries on diverse coral reefs.
> Diversity 4(1): 105-160.   (available open access)
> All four of these articles have lots of references to literature you can
> use to learn about these topics.
> Cheers,  Doug
> On Sun, Aug 11, 2013 at 7:05 AM, Chelsie Counsell <cwagner at bio.fsu.edu>wrote:
>> Hi Mark,
>> When I spent semesters in South Caicos in 2008 and 2010, sharks were still
>> practically a guarantee when diving the channels and drop offs. Mainly reef
>> sharks with some lemons and the very occasional hammerhead.
>> Best,
>> Chelsie Counsell
>> --
>> NSF Graduate Fellow
>> Department of Marine Biology
>> University of Hawai'i
>> counsell at hawaii.edu
>> Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2013 09:16:39 -0700
>>> From: Mark Tupper <mtupper at coastal-resources.org>
>>> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Shark week!
>>> To: "Pawlik, Joseph" <pawlikj at uncw.edu>
>>> Cc: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
>>> Message-ID:
>>>        <F40A06B4-CAA6-4643-9595-130EE0FE1248 at coastal-resources.org>
>>> Content-Type: text/plain;       charset=us-ascii
>>> Hi Joseph,
>>> Have you been working in the Exumas for some time? I ask because I lived
>>> there in 1988 and 89 and back then, shark encounters wouldn't make the
>>> news. Sharks were very common - to the point that spearfishing could be
>>> risky, as sharks were encountered on many dives, if not most. I guess
>> that
>>> is no longer true?
>>> Also, as late as 2000, sharks were almost guaranteed when diving channels
>>> and drop offs  around South Caicos in the TCI. Not sure if that is still
>>> true 13 years later...
>>> Cheers
>>> Mark Tupper
>>> On 2013-08-09, at 7:03 AM, "Pawlik, Joseph" <pawlikj at uncw.edu> wrote:
>>>> Hi Listers,
>>>> In keeping with Discovery Channel's "Shark week" (minus the Megalodon
>>> hoax), check out this video of reef sharks from a site within the Exuma
>>> Land and Sea Park in the Bahamas.  We rarely see sharks while diving on
>>> reefs in the Caribbean, and then usually only as fleeting glimpses in the
>>> distance.  But at both visits to this site, a few small reef sharks
>> slowly
>>> circled the divers.  I suspect that other dive groups feed these sharks
>> (we
>>> do not).
>>>> http://youtu.be/MzrWACzMFZ8
>>>> Regards,
>>>> Joe
>>>> **************************************************************
>>>> Joseph R. Pawlik, Professor
>>>> UNCW Center for Marine Science
>>>> 5600 Marvin K Moss Lane
>>>> Wilmington, NC  28409   USA
>>>> pawlikj at uncw.edu<mailto:pawlikj at uncw.edu>; Office:(910)962-2377; Cell:
>>> (910)232-3579
>>>> Website: http://people.uncw.edu/pawlikj/index.html
>>>> PDFs: http://people.uncw.edu/pawlikj/pubs2.html
>>>> **************************************************************
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