The GHRI and its collaborators are conducting an extensive, worldwide research program aimed at providing the scientific information urgently needed for conservation and management of sharks and their relatives (the rays). This multidisciplinary research program encompasses field and laboratory studies on the migration, reproduction, habitat requirements, genetics, and biodiversity of sharks and rays.
Why Study Sharks?
In addition to their ecological importance as as apex predators in our oceans, GHRI is also studying sharks because they are being subjected to intense fishing pressure worldwide as a result of the high demand for shark fins and cartilage. Since many sharks travel long distances, crossing oceans and national boundaries, they are susceptible to the unregulated fishing efforts of multiple nations. Consequently, shark populations have plummeted worldwide to less than 30 percent of their numbers two decades ago. This decline, coupled with the slow reproductive rate of most sharks has prompted great concern about the health of shark populations and an urgent need for effective conservation and management.