A 4 year long global study has many experts very worried. There has been an alarming drop worldwide in shark populations. A large chunk of funding for the global study came from Paul Allen. The late Microsoft co-founder must have been a big fan of Shark Week. The study, called FinPrint, was fairly simple but took a lot of time, travel and money.

According to CBS the study took out a cage with bait on one end and a camera on the other... simple right? Over 4 years they dropped the camera cages in 58 different countries and over 15,000 times. They would leave the cage in the deep for one hour and see how many sharks would show up. These are places that shark populations should be dense, but in over 20% of reefs around the world, they saw none.

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Apparently there is a growing shark meat market that is part of the dwindling numbers issue. The study conductors say sharks are in a functional extinction. Essentially, they are still around but there are not enough to control other marine life populations, which is crucial in the health of the largest Ecosystem on earth, the oceans.

Some good news, however, due to the scary low numbers, marine protection zones, and fishing restrictions have been put into place in many places around the globe to hopefully help bring their numbers back.

I watched JAWS way younger than I should have and have a real fear of sharks anytime I cant see the bottom of water I am in. I will continue to admire the beasts from a distance.



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