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The Uphill Battle to Protecting Mexico's Bull Shark Population

Sandra Larriva - HuffPost
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March 16, 2013
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PHANTOM DIVERS, Riviera Maya, Mexico. Bull shark project 2011 (phantomdiversmexico)

Every year, from November to March, dozens of bull sharks approach Mexico's Mayan Riviera to make its temperate and turquoise waters their home. The males linger near Cancun. The females, most of which are pregnant, opt for Playa del Carmen, a bustling tourist hub an hour south of Cancun.

Experts believe that the mothers-to-be are in search of a nursery, so when the time to give birth arrives, they swim to nearby fresh waters, only to return to Playa del Carmen with their young.

Many consider these top predators to be the most dangerous sharks; their knack for navigating shorelines and their ability to survive in both salt and fresh water increase the probability of human encounters. But locals claim the area's biggest threat during these four months is of another kind entirely: Fishermen who kill pregnant and baby bull sharks year after year.

According to marine biologist and shark expert Mauricio Hoyos, this is an issue that deserves to be addressed because it could hinder population growth and eventually cause decimation of this particular group.

Read the whole story at HuffPost

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