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Top 10 Shark Conservation Projects

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by: Josh Clark
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Going Underwater for Sharks
DCI | Stockbyte/Getty Images

Some shark conservationists do their best work on dry land. Others literally like to get their feet wet.

Conservation groups on the high seas have a lot of work to do. Poachers in protected areas like the Galapagos Islands take illegal hauls and must be apprehended. Even legal fishing operations that fish for species like tuna can be dangerous for sharks. Purse seine nets, for example, are long walls of netting that hang up to 300 meters (984 feet) underwater and are attached to floats on the surface. These nets are drawn together at the bottom, trapping everything within them. When fishermen come to haul the nets up, they take everything — sharks included.

This process is called bycatching; it's an unfortunate — but legal — byproduct of fishing. However, some conservationists will go underwater to free trapped sharks from opened nets that have yet to be hauled.

By harassing illegal fishermen and overseeing legal operations, shark conservationists in the water try to create breathing room for endangered sharks.

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