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International Team to Conduct Search for Great White Sharks in Ireland in September – News & Events

Irish Shark Scientists to Host OCEARCH for Great White Shark Research in Irish Waters

Irish scientists to team up with US non-profit to search for great white sharks in Irish waters

In a groundbreaking collaboration, a group of Irish shark scientists will be teaming up with OCEARCH, a US-based great white shark research non-profit, to document the first records of great white sharks in Irish waters. This exciting expedition is set to take place in September and has already generated a buzz in the scientific community.

Ireland is known as a hotspot for a variety of shark species, including the basking shark, porbeagle, and tope shark. However, great whites have yet to be formally recorded in Irish waters. Historically, great whites were common throughout the Mediterranean before overfishing led to a decline in their numbers.

Dr. Nick Payne, Assistant Professor in Trinity College Dublin’s School of Natural Sciences, is leading the Irish expedition and is optimistic about the team’s chances. He believes that Ireland’s ideal temperature and food options make it a likely location for great whites to visit. The team also includes researchers from University College Dublin, University College Cork, Munster Technological University, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Marine Institute, and Fair Seas.

Dr. Harley Newton, OCEARCH Chief Scientist & Veterinarian, stressed the importance of healthy shark populations in marine ecosystems. Sharks play a crucial role as top predators, regulating prey populations and maintaining the diversity of marine habitats.

Approximately 40 shark species inhabit Irish waters, with many facing threats such as by-catch in fisheries, habitat destruction, and climate change. Dr. Payne highlighted the need for effective conservation efforts to protect local shark populations and ensure their survival for the future.

The upcoming expedition presents an exciting opportunity to not only search for great whites but also to conduct research on other shark and ray species of conservation concern. With the combined expertise of Irish and US scientists, this collaboration is poised to shed light on Ireland’s shark populations and the challenges they face in today’s changing environment.

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