In Mediterranean, the Predator Is the Hunted

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 30, 2008; Page A05

The Mediterranean Sea, says Francesco Ferretti, is “a very dangerous place for a shark.”

So dangerous that in the past two centuries, the shark population there has plummeted by more than 97 percent, both in relative numbers and collective weight, according to a study by the graduate student, two colleagues at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia and an Italian researcher.

They based their conclusion on evidence scoured from an unusually wide variety of records, including documents drawn from universities and archives, from fish markets and recreational fishing clubs, and from local accounts of shark sightings.

The paper, co-authored with the late Dalhousie marine biologist Ransom A. Myers and others, is only the latest evidence that some of the oceans’ most feared predators are themselves in dire danger.

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