Sharks & Rays

Sharks, rays and skates are fish. But unlike most fish, their skeletons are made of the same cartilage found in our human ears and noses, rather than bone. A diverse group, the elasmobranchs have over 300 species.




There are more than 500 species of sharks swimming in the world’s ocean. Yet when most people think of these cartilaginous...

Sharks are also afraid of shark attacks

Caribbean reef sharks are not the reef's top predator. A fearful reef shark flees from a great hammerhead in the Exumas, Bahamas. The video is taken using a baited remote underwater video (BRUV) as...

Ashmore Reef highlights

The sharks and rays of Ashmore Reef in North West Australia visit baited remote underwater videos (BRUVs) as part of the Global FinPrint project.
Two nurse sharks hover over a baited cage

Shark Snapshot - Saving sharks with an underwater photoshoot

Tawny nurse sharks are common visitors to FinPrint's baited remote underwater videos (BRUVs). Here, two swim in the Ashmore Reef off the West Coast of Australia. Credit: Global FinPrint Sharks make headlines, but we...

Map of Shark Protections Through Time

Sharks face many threats from people, including extreme overfishing driven by high prices for their fins, and being caught by mistake in nets and on longlines. While there is still much work to be...
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The State of Sharks, 40 Years After Jaws

by Nancy Knowlton and Wendy Benchley A shortfin mako glides through the waters off the coast of California. Credit: © Brian Skerry, This year marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of Jaws...
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Eugenie Clark - The Shark Lady

Eugenie Clark collecting specimens on a dive. Credit: Courtesy of Mote Marine Laboratory By Ashley Gallagher Eugenie Clark grew up spending her weekends at the aquarium. Her father died when she was two, so...
Hawaiian Monk Seal

Backbone of Biodiversity at Risk

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) maintains the Red List of Threatened Species , an inventory of the global conservation status of plants and animals. In a 2010 study...
Sophi Bromenshenkel poses with a hammerhead shark snow sculpture.

Saving Sharks and Dolphins, Near and Far

Shark-lover and Minnesota native Sophi Bromenshenkel poses with her hammerhead snow sculpture. The eight-year-old is one of Oceana's 2011 Ocean Heroes . Credit: Courtesy of Neil Bromenshenkel Sophi Bromenshenkel is an unlikely shark -lover...
Giant Pacific Manta Ray, Roca Partida Sea Mount, Revillagigedos Islands, Mexico

Tagging and Tracking Animals Underwater

“Manta rays sometimes approach divers; an up-close encounter with such a huge, peaceful animal is unforgettable!” -- Nature's Best photographer, Deborah Smrekar. Equipment Used to Capture the Shot: Nikon D70; 12-24mm; 1/100 sec at...
An oceanic whitetip shark swims near a biologist in the Bahamas.

Spectacular Shark Pictures

Sharks are one of nature’s most beautiful—and misunderstood—creatures. When most people think of sharks, they think of unexpecting swimmers being attacked and eaten by a nightmarish creature. But what they don’t know is that...