Many people are scared of sharks, but they are actually a very important part of the ocean’s ecosystem. Did you know that falling coconuts are actually more deadly to humans than sharks? Each year, tens of millions of sharks are caught by fishing vessels (ships). So actually, they should be afraid of us. And instead of fearing them, we should protect them – from ourselves!
We wanted to find out where sharks are most at risk from fishing across all of the world’s oceans. We used tracking data from both sharks and fishing vessels to create maps of where sharks like to hang out and where ships go fishing. When they overlap, sharks are at risk of being caught! We found the areas that are most dangerous for sharks to swim. These areas are unique to different species and different oceans. We can use our findings to tell people who manage the seas how to best protect sharks and the other marine life that rely on them.