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Some Shark Populations Collapsing

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

Some shark populations in the Mediterranean Sea have completely collapsed, according to a new study, with numbers of five species declining by more than 96 percent over the past two centuries.

"This loss of top predators could hold serious implications for the entire marine ecosystem, greatly affecting food webs throughout this region," said the lead author of the study, Francesco Ferretti, a doctoral student in marine biology at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.

Particularly troubling, the researchers said, were patterns indicating a lack of females of breeding age, which are essential if populations are to recover even with new conservation measures.

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