Sensory Secrets of Sharks & Rays

Citizen Science(1)

Our first Lecture at the La Jolla Riford Library by Dr. Laura Jordan-Smith of World Below the Waves explored the range of sensory systems and capabilities of sharks and rays highlighting the importance of this type of information for conservation efforts.  Huge numbers of sharks and rays are captured by fishing gear targeting other kinds of fish and this mortality is extremely wasteful and has contributed to drastic declines in many species of sharks and rays worldwide.  By better understanding the sensory systems and behavior of these fascinating animals, we can start to design fishing gear and modify fishing practices to reduce the numbers caught as bycatch, or unintentional catch.  The discussion after the talk was lively and in depth touching on topics such as seafood sustainability, local species, and other factors in addition to overfishing that influence the ocean and human health, such as pollution and bioaccumulation.


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