A school of reef sharks glide through the water near the reefs of the Bahamas

Photo: Neil Hammerschlag

Bringing to light the plight of sharks

A school of reef sharks glide through the water near the reefs of the Bahamas in this 2010 photo captured by shark researcher Neil Hammerschlag, who was out on a late-afternoon dive with fellow researchers.

The team placed crates of minced fish near a reef in hopes of attracting the near-threatened sharks for an underwater photoshoot.

Hammerschlag, an assistant research professor at the University of Miami, posted the image on Instagram a few days ago following the publication of his research on the high levels of neurotoxins in shark fins. Global populations of sharks have declined in the past several decades, in part because of severe overfishing for shark fins, which are considered a delicacy in some cultures.

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