Could Cheap Magnets Help Save Sharks?
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Here we humans in general, not us on this podcast, kill one hundred million sharks. Every year for starters, some people each sharks. So they kill them on purpose for that reason. However, the big shark killing culprit is accidental by-catch bycatch is the Claro damage of the large scale commercial fishing industry. It works. Like this say, you're in charge of a commercial shrimping boat. And it's outfitted with all the gear you need to catch shrimp, including a trawling net. The size of a sports field, which sinks to the sea floor and bumps along the bottom picking up whatever's down there when it's hold back in some of what's in the net is shrimp. But it also contains sharks sea turtles seals dolphins. Raise countless animals of all descriptions. Some of these needlessly die before they can be thrown back overboard Assam are halted deport and their bodies disposed of later the same goes for baited longlines and gillnets which untangle everything that's wims into them. The result is that it's many as two billion pounds. That's almost one metric ton of marine. Life is killed and wasted by the fishing industry. Every year which puts the whole a hundred million sharks thing into perspective. But there may be hope at least for the sharks a cheap simple fix for big problem. Like, this is rarely forthcoming. But according to a study published any twenty eighteen issue of the journal fisheries research, the answer to the shark bycatch problem might be magnets sharks are Alaska Bronx that is they belong to a group of cartilage in his fishes. That also includes raisins skates, and they have special sensory organs around their nostrils called amputate of Lorenzini that looked like little craters all over the shark's snout behind. These little pores are sacks of jelly the consents electromagnetic fields. They helped sharks hunt by letting them sense. The bio electric city of their praise heartbeat and scientists think might also help the migrate using the earth's magnetic field the research team behind the aforementioned study hypothesized that incorporating magnets into fish traps might alert Alaska Bronx to their presence and reduce overall shark bycatch because bony fishes which are often. What fishing outfits are looking to catch have low sensitivity to electromagnetic fields. They figured that. Even if it worked to keep sharks steering clear the traps, it would lower the cat traits of desirable fish to test their hypothesis the research team monitored thousand fish traps off the coast of Sydney, New South Wales, all of which were baited to catch a stray alien, snapper. A segment of the industry that accidentally catches sharks about ten percent of the time. One third of the traps were set with cheap magnets around the entrances worth about twenty two American dollars or thirty dollars. Australian another third of the traps were set with metal bars at the entrance to provide a physical barrier. And the last third were left alone as controls in a press release. Co author REEs Richards of the school of environmental and life sciences university of Newcastle said developing ways to reduce by catches a priority for many fisheries, we found the traps with magnets had roughly thirty percent less likelihood of catching sharks and rays compared to traps without in addition those traps with magnets would catch roughly thirty percent more targeted fish, which is a rare win win for fisheries. Win wins are great. But we've got a long way to go before we make a dent in that one hundred million sharks per year the magnet seemed to work well for traps, but magnets, won't work on lines. The lines are fitted with metal hooks. So magnets would tangle. The gear more research is needed. But as fans of these fascinating thinned creatures regard to see one possible solution. Today's episode was written by just windshields and produced by Tyler clang for more on this and lots of other not so fishy, topics. Visit our home planet. How stuff works dot com. I'm Katie golden. I studied psychology and evolutionary biology at Harvard, and I pretend to be a bird on Twitter in my new podcast creature feature. We've you nature in men from a new perspective each episode asking comedian to get inside the minds of animals, so we can explore the startling connections to human psychology, you'll find blood bands and treachery that make game of thrones seemed like dumb show for babies. Join this every Wednesday and subscribe on apple podcasts for on the iheartradio app or wherever you listen to podcasts.