DescriptionGuest Editor - Special Issue "Understanding and Managing Human–Shark Interactions in an Environmentally Aware World"
Additional informationThe intrinsic importance of sharks as well as the important role they play in the structure and function of marine ecosystems is established. A small number of shark species are responsible for unprovoked bites on water users that can lead to human fatalities. This includes species such as the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias)—a globally listed threatened species. Human–wildlife conflict is a growing obstacle to conservation goals. While the number of unprovoked bites remains low in absolute terms, when a bite occurs, it attracts substantial media and public focus. Mitigating human–shark interactions in ways that reduce the number of human fatalities and serious injuries while maintaining or recovering shark populations is a key issue requiring continued attention and new approaches.
In this Special Issue, it is proposed to further the understanding of factors that are driving trends in unprovoked shark bites and approaches that can mitigate the risk of a bite occurring. Contributions are sought on research that: a) assesses population trends in dangerous shark species (white sharks, tiger sharks and bull sharks) and aspects of their biology and behaviour which may influence the probability of unprovoked shark bites; b) assesses regional or global trends in unprovoked shark bites and interprets the risk of a bite occurring in a broader context; c) develops or trials methods that mitigate the likelihood or consequence of a bite occurring; d) assesses the impacts of mitigation measures on marine fauna and marine ecosystems; or e) describes educational activities or undertakes media content analysis focused on the effectiveness in communicating human safety and the conservation status of shark species.
This Special Issue will have high visibility and impact among government agencies, academic enterprises and the public sector in regions where sharks occur and where unprovoked shark bites are significant issues. It has the potential to expand on the emerging literature base and provide a focal point for contemporary thinking and research on a critical matter for human safety and shark conservation.
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