Fishing venture turns up all kinds of weird deep-sea sharks

15 August 2012

Source: Science on NCB News

Author: Andrea Mustain

A two-month fishing expedition to the Indian Ocean has turned up hundreds of strange deep-sea sharks, and several are likely new to science.

At least eight new species could be among the fishy haul, said Paul Clerkin, a shark ecology graduate student at California's Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

Clerkin joined the commercial fishing venture in March and April of this year, in hopes that the vessel's massive trawling nets might pluck sharks from the deep sea. He was not disappointed.

"I tell people I have a ton of sharks, and they keep thinking I’m joking," Clerkin said. "It was an actual ton. I brought back 350 sharks." [ See some of the sharks ]

The sharks were caught as bycatch from depths of about 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) from a region of undersea mountains, or seamounts, about a week's journey south of the island of Mauritius.


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