Nov. 14, 2013
IMAX Theater at New England Aquarium
1 Central Wharf Boston, MA 02110
Dr. Christopher G. Lowe, Professor of Marine Biology and Director of California State University at Long Beach Shark Lab
Over a century of overfishing, bycatch mortality, and coastal pollution, resulted in significant declines in all top marine predator populations off the coast of California. Despite a rapidly growing coastal human population and related impacts on the coastal ocean environment, landmark environmental policies, fisheries management, and public awareness of urban ocean issues since the 1970s are finally paying off and reversing this trend. Banning nearshore gillnetting in 1994 has already resulted in major increases in mesopredators and marine mammals, all of which are important prey items of white sharks.
In addition, protection for white sharks was implemented in CA in 1994, further reducing fisheries bycatch mortality on young individuals. Both fisheries data, marine mammal predation data and anecdotal observations all indicate an increasing white shark population off California and similar trends have been observed in other regions (e.g., Northwest Atlantic, Australia and South Africa). While there are still numerous coastal ocean issues still left to solve, the observed trends give hope for the future.
*This event includes a free screening of Great White Shark in IMAX 3D (40mins), followed by a talk and Q&A with Dr. Christopher Lowe, a featured shark researcher in the film.