A long term great white shark survey conducted in False Bay, South Africa has found that there has been a sharp decrease in Great White Sharks in 2017 and 2018. Those two years resulted in zero sightings of the once dominant shark species in the area. So what happens to a marine ecosystem when an apex predator disappears?
Dr. Neil Hammershlag (University of Miami) and Chris Fallows (Apex Shark Expeditions) wrote a paper on the subject that was recently published in Scientific Reports.
The authors found a drastic increase in sightings of seven gill sharks (120 sightings) when Great White Sharks weren’t present. The seven gill sharks normally occur 18 km away hidden in the kelp forests away from their predator, the great white shark. Now that the whites are gone, the seven gills are ready to take over.
Take a listen to the details in the episode.
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