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Rare Sharks With Bizarre Jaws Have Turned Up Off The Coast of Taiwan

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A recent catch in Taiwan is making waves: five rare and rarely seen viper dogfish - a type of small, luminescent and inky black shark that lives in the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Hawaii, Japan and Taiwan.   The catch was made by the Taiwanese Fisheries Research Institute during a survey of fish species living off the coast of Taitung, according to local news reports . The viper dogfish, Trigonognathus kabeyai, are peculiar and distinctive-looking beasties, but not likely to harm humans. They live in deep waters, seem to have a small population and range, and are so elusive that they weren't even discovered until 1986 . Since then, they've shown up a few times over the decades, usually as fishing bycatch. Because they're so rarely seen, we don't know a lot about them, but scientists have been able to glean a fair amount from their taxonomy. Fisheries...
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Three charged in Florida shark-dragging video

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Three men were charged with felony animal cruelty Tuesday in the dragging of a shark behind a high-speed boat in Florida, an incident captured on videos that led to worldwide condemnation. Charged were Michael Wenzel , 21, of Palmetto; Robert Lee Benac, 28, of Bradenton; and Spencer Heintz, 23, of Palmetto. In the videos , taken off the Gulf coast, the live shark is dragged at high speed in the boat’s frothy wake, as the men on the boat laugh and joke. “During both videos, all occupants can be seen and heard laughing while the shark is being dragged across the top of the water at high speed,” states a report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which conducted the investigation. “At the end of [the] recording Wenzel states, ‘I think it’s dead.’” The video went viral, generating outrage and calls for investigations from around the world. A...
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10 Sharks Scuba Divers Need To Protect

10 Sharks Scuba Divers Need To Protect
Scuba divers may be more aware of the threats facing sharks — but we also feel helpless about what we can do. It’s a sobering statistic: Up to 25 percent of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened with extinction, according to the IUCN Shark Specialist Group (SSG). Using the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species criteria, the SSG says that of the 1,041 species assessed, 107 rays and 74 sharks are classified as threatened. Because they grow slowly and produce few young, both sharks and rays are susceptible to overexploitation — including overfishing from targeted fishing, bycatch and finning. Thanks largely to compelling arguments from the diving community, we’re making progress to ensure that these animals receive the conservation attention they desperately need. While our work in recent years represents terrific progress, the IUCN study reminds us that these threatened species, and closely related ones — such as guitarfish,...
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