Experts meet to save South Africa’s sharks

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Shark experts from around the world recently gathered at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) to discuss the conservation status of sharks that are only found in South African waters. Nick Dulvy, head of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) shark assessment team, said ichthyologists pay attention to sharks because they are a useful indicator species for evaluating the health of marine ecosystems. Five of the IUCN Shark Assessment group are graduates of Rhodes University’s Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Sciences (DIFS): from left Rhett Bennett: Shark and ray Conservation Officer, Madagascar & Western Indian Ocean Wildlife Conservation Society; Dave Ebert: Director of the Pacific Shark Research Centre at Moss Landing in California, USA; Charlene da Silva: Shark Resources Researcher, Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa; Henning Winker: Centre for Statistics in Ecology, Environment and Conservation, a research group within the Department of Statistical Sciences at the University of Cape Town; Meaghen McCord: Founder South African Shark Conservancy, Hermanus, South Africa.

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