- Deep Sea Trawler Stirs Up Strange Shark Species
- Wreckage of Rena to Possibly Become Tourist Destination
- Thresher Shark Sighting Off the Coast of West Wales
A deep sea trawling expedition in the Indian Ocean has turned up a wild variety of strange sharks, several of which could be entirely new to science. The sharks were caught in an undersea mountain region, located 6,500 feet below the surface. Over the course of two months, hundreds of these sharks were pulled in as bycatch by the trawler, 350 of which were kept and painstakingly documented by a shark ecology graduate student from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in California, who joined the expedition with the intention of studying sharks that would inevitably be caught in the trawling net. Eighty to ninety separate measurements were taken for each shark collected for study, and samples were sent to a lab for genetic comparison to existing samples. If he did indeed discover new species, he will get to name them. He noted the strange features of some of the sharks: knife-like snouts, moon-like eyes, and a serrated, curved spine protruding from the back of one shark.
Nearly a year since the cargo ship Rena grounded itself on New Zealand’s Astrolabe Reef and caused a small disaster, the final stages of the ship’s removal are underway. Although Maritime New Zealand has ordered the wreckage to be completely removed, officials are in talks to possibly leave the wreckage there as a dive site and a charter boat destination for tourists. The idea has the full support of the New Zealand Underwater Association and the Swedish Club, the insurers of the Rena, who have seen underwater photos taken of the wreckage which show large marine life habitats had already been established. Because of the vessel’s precarious placement on the reef, salvage has been exceedingly difficult, with removal estimated to take another year.
Normally seen in the waters off of Asia and North America, a vessel of researchers and passengers conducting a day-long survey were shocked to see a thresher shark breach high out of the water right in front of the bow while sailing off the coast of West Wales. A science officer from the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Center who witnessed the shark breaching noted that sightings of the thresher shark had been increasing over the last several years, possibly following prey that is following warmer sea temperatures. A blue shark sighting closed down a beach along the same stretch of coastline only a few days before.