18-May-2022 (written by Jessica Pearce)
Did you know that despite their size, whale sharks are at great risk from the shipping industry? Our Sequeira Lab leader, Dr. Ana Sequeira, contributed to a recently published paper entitled “Global collision-risk hotspots of marine traffic and the world’s largest fish, the whale shark” led by Freya Womersley, Prof David Sims, Dr Nicolas E. Humphries and Dr Nuno Queiroz, and involving a fantastic team. Using data from satellite tags deployed on whale sharks, this paper demonstrates, how whales shark movements often coincide with high-density shipping areas, putting these animals at risk of lethal ship strikes.
Since being published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), this paper from the Global Shark Movement Project (GSMP) has attracted much attention worldwide. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) TV News was quick to jump on this story and invited Ana as an expert guest to interview about this topic. In her live TV interview Ana discussed how this research is paramount to establishing management policies to minimise and report any ship strikes and encounters with marine megafauna that occur going forward.