OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Declining Shark Fishery in the Sea of Cortez

TitleDeclining Shark Fishery in the Sea of Cortez
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsPaulson, Amita
Academic DepartmentBiology
Thesis AdvisorYamada, Sylvia
DegreeBachelor of Arts in Biology in International Studies
Number of Pages19
Date Published06/1997
UniversityOregon State University
CityCorvallis
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
Keywordsendangered, extinction, Mexico, overfishing, sharks
Abstract

Throughout the world there are millions of species of organisms that crawl on the earth, fly through the air and swim throughout the depths of the oceans. Depending upon what type of organism, it is determines its value whether it be economic, religious or social to humans.
Many animals have come into contact with humans and met their demise due to a product that the organism produces. The world has witnessed the endangerment and extinction of multiple species and right now more organisms are being diminished. Not long ago, it was fashionable to have alligator boots or belts. Because of this fashion trend that was started by some random person and spread to different countries, the alligators suffered and almost became extinct in some areas.
A similar example concerned the African Elephants. When people found the ivory from the tusks a valuable commodity for jewelry and aphrodisiacs, hundreds of thousands of elephants were killed only for their tusks. These animals were left to die only because of one product that they offered. There are a number of examples that can be found when one looks at the lists of threatened, endangered or extinction animals.
The group of organisms that are now being endangered are the cartilaginous fishes, the Elasmobranchs. This group consists of sharks, skates and rays. Elasmobranchs are being commercially fished in all parts of the world but now are in grave danger in the Sea of Cortez. This group is endangered for two main reasons: first, Elasmobranchs have a low fecundity rate or reproduction rate, it takes a long time to build up the population second, Elasmobranchs do not become sexually mature until about age seven.