I’ve been lucky enough to be at the Biology, Ecology and Conservation of Elasmobranchs conference, and I thought I’d share a few highlights. So here are my hastily assembled favourite 10 facts (so far) as gleaned from the amazing #FSBI2015 Twitter feed:

  • If a shark poops in the ocean, can you tell what species it is? @judithbakker2 says YES! eDNA can be extracted from sea water and can be used to identify what species occur in the water.
  • Gregor Cailliet: Some elasmobranch species have true annual growth rings in their vertebrae
  • Jayson Semmens: Great white #shark breaching behaviour is unusual and localised to the population at Seal Island, SA
  • Highly migratory Blue Sharks have no management – science based catch limits needed!
  • Gregor Cailliet: Shows that shallower *larger* skates are short-lived than deeper *smaller* in Alaska; challenges size-age relationship
  • Gregory Skomal talks White #Sharks in the Atlantic. Clever underwater vehicles follow them down. Attach a transponder to #shark & play big game of Marco Polo… inc movements of @RockStarLydia causing a stir with UK media!
  • Nuno Queiroz: 1000m deep dives of mako and blue sharks – why so deep? Makos 20mins below 1000m Blues 10mins – advantage of endothermy
  • Robert Bullock brings up great point that as scientists we have ethical obligation to ensure our gadgets / tags do not impact behaviour
  • Owen O’Shea: Yellow rays like to snack on worms – use electrosensors to find hidden prey
  • Andrew Griffiths showing skates some love! DNA barcoding reveals extent of decline in range of the now not-so-common Common Skate

The meeting is the Annual Symposium of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles, convened by the Marine Biological Association.