Sharks face challenge for survival
More than 100 species of sharks and rays that call the Great Barrier Reef home are facing a wide range of challenges.
James Cook University’s shark expert and Director of the Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture Professor Colin Simpfendorfer will discuss what the future of sharks looks like in a special public lecture this week (Wednesday, October 16).
“Globally sharks are under pressure through overfishing driven by the demand for fins, meat and cartilage,” Professor Simpfendorfer said, “and the loss of habitats and pollution have all reduced populations in many parts of the world.
“At the same time the Great Barrier Reef is facing a wide range of challenges, both man-made and natural.”
Professor Simpfendorfer will explore what we know about sharks in the GBR, and the science that underpins that knowledge and supports the ongoing management of these important ocean predators in his Professorial Inaugural Lecture in the Raffles Room, Rydges Southbank, Palmer St, South Townsville, from 5.30 pm on Wednesday, October 16.
He has been researching sharks since 1986 when he stumbled into a project on sharks as an Honours student at JCU.
After finishing his PhD on shark biology at JCU in 1993, he worked on shark fisheries assessment for the Western Australian Department of Fisheries.
In 1998 he moved to Florida and worked in the Center for Shark Research at Mote Marine Laboratory, returning to JCU in 2007 to lead the Fishing and Fisheries Team.
He is also Co-Chair of the IUCN’s Shark Specialist Group and a member of the Australian Shark Reference Group, which is responsible for overseeing the implementation of Australia's National Plan of Action for sharks.
Light refreshments will be served after the lecture.
Contact: Professor Simpfendorfer 07 4781 5287 or 0488 407 963
JCU Media: Jim O’Brien 07 4781 4822 or 0418 892449
Issued: October 14, 2013