10% of profits from your purchase will go directly toward the Shark Research and Conservation (SRC) Program at the University of Miami,helping to fund important research focused on the ecology, movement and conservation of nurse sharks as well as other local shark species. In addition to research, the SRC program is actively aimed at student education and community outreach through extensive citizen science and internship programs.
Nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum) are globally classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as “Data Deficient”, with an unknown population trend, and thus, more research on their population size, distribution and trends, ecology, and threats is needed. Though they can grow up to 14 feet in length, they are slow moving bottom-dwellers, inhabiting the warm, shallow waters of the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans. Nurse sharks are particularly vulnerable to coastal fisheries and indirect coastal impacts from human activities, particularly in reef areas which constitute its main habitat.
Multiple research methods have shown that some species of sharks have declined in population by 90% or more during the last several decades in areas where they were formerly abundant. These declines are due to direct targeting in commercial fisheries, mostly for their fins and sometimes meat. Additionally, sharks are often caught unintentionally as bycatch in many other fisheries, caught and killed in some recreational fisheries (unlike catch and release), and may also be impacted by humans more indirectly through threats like habitat loss, pollution, and human-driven declines in the fish species sharks rely on for food.