Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Where do sharks live

Sharks hold a certain fascination for many people and I have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of people visiting my shark posts so far. I have been watching some of the shark week on the discovery channel lately and I thought I would share some of what I have learned.

Where do sharks live?
Contrary to popular belief sharks are only found in 30% of the world oceans making 70% shark free. However, most coastal areas will be home to at least one species of shark. Research shows that sharks cannot live in water deeper than 1500 meters and this makes them susceptible to overfishing.

Great White Sharks are found in almost all coastal waters with temperatures from 12 and 24° C. There are large concentrations in Australia, South Africa and California.

Tiger sharks can be found close to the coast in almost all tropical and sub-tropical waters and will sometimes stray into temperate and cool waters.

Mako sharks are found in almost all tropical and temperate waters worldwide.

Interesting shark facts

  • The bull shark is well known for its ability to live in both fresh and salt water - imagine the surprise if one made its way into your local bass lake!
  • In the 16th century sharks were usually referred to as "sea dogs"
  • Sharks never stop swimming, even to sleep, otherwise they would fall to the sea floor.
  • Black-tip reef sharks have swum the Suez canal to colonize the Mediterranean Sea.
  • While snorkeling in Australia, Luke Tresoglavic was bitten by a small wobbegong that didn't let go. He had to swim to the shore and drive to get help with the shark still attached to his leg.
  • During an experiment a scientist plugged on nostril of a shark - it swam in a circle.
Sharks are susceptible to overfishing and many species are now on the endangered list. As you might expect sharks are very good fighters and can grow to enormous sizes. Some sharks are also good eating. However the fact that they are under so much fishing pressure and can be downright dangerous near a boat means that you should think carefully before purposely targeting sharks.