At shockingly high levels in the blood of great white sharks

At shockingly high levels in the blood of great white sharks swimming off the coast of South Africa Levels of toxic mercury, arsenic and lead have been found .

Despite being present in concentration killings of most animals, these toxins have no effect on the heavily hunter fish.

The sharks may have a special ability to resist the dangerous effects of the heavy metals as per the scientists undertaking the tests think .

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As great whites are top carnivore, from all the other creatures they eat they accumulate high volumes of toxins in their bodies .

Dr Neil Hammerschlag, a co-author of the study at the University of Miami said “By measuring absorption of toxins, in the blood of white sharks,such as mercury and arsenic,for the health of the ecosystem,they can act as ‘ecosystem indicators’with implications for humans,” .

1/6 Scalloped hammerhead shark

Due to being sold by an Asian food retailer in the UK, scalloped hammerhead shark wings were found. These sharks are endangered, and in the last 30 years, in some parts of the Atlantic Ocean, their population has declined by more than 95%.

In the samples of takeaway fish and chips sampled, spiny dogfish made up 90% of those sold under the names huss, rock salmon and rock eel.

3/6 Shortfin mako shark

Another vulnerable species found in the dried shark fins tested in the British Asian wholefood retailer was the shortfin mako shark.

4/6 Blue shark

On sale in UK shops Blue shark was also found . by the International Union for Conservation of Nature This species is not as vulnerable as the others but is still listed as “Near Threatened”

Istock/Howard Chen 5/6 Nursehound

the sharks being sold in UK Around a quarter of fishmongers were nursehounds, another relatively safe species that is nevertheless classified as near threatened.

Mario Antonio Pena Zapatería

6/6 Misleading names in fish shops

The scientists behind the study investigating the prevalence on sale concluded of endangered shark meat that shops must stop selling these species under “umbrella terms” that hide their true origin.

1/6 Scalloped hammerhead shark

by an Asian food retailer in the UK Scalloped hammerhead shark fins were among those found being sold . These sharks are endangered, and in parts of the Atlantic Ocean, their populations have declined by over 95% in the past 30 years.

Istock/Janos

2/6 Spiny dogfish

In the samples of takeaway fish and chips sampled, spiny dogfish made up 90% of those sold under the names huss, rock salmon and rock eel.

3/6 Shortfin mako shark

in the British Asian wholefood retailer was the shortfin mako shark. Another vulnerable species found in the dried shark fins tested

4/6 Blue shark

Blue shark was also found on sale in UK shops. This species is not as vulnerable as the others but is still listed as “Near Threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature

Istock/Howard Chen

5/6 Nursehound

Around a quarter of the sharks being sold in UK fishmongers were nursehounds, another relatively safe species that is nevertheless classified as near threatened.

Mario Antonio Pena Zapatería

6/6 Misleading names in fish shops

The scientists behind the study investigating the prevalence of endangered shark meat on sale concluded that shops must stop selling these species under “umbrella terms” that hide their true origin.

“ It is likely that species they eat below them will also have toxins, including fishes that humans eat,Basically, if the sharks have high levels of toxins in their tissues,.”

The scientists carefully captured and samples 43 sharks,to undertake their study,taking blood samples and body measurements before tagging and releasing them.

the team said it was vital to understand what impact toxic heavy metal pollution was having on them as many shark species are endangered, .

No harmful effect on white blood cell counts or other potential indicators of ill health the scientists were surprised to find.

Dr Liza Merly, who led the study said “The results suggest that sharks may have an inherent physiological protective mechanism that mitigates the harmful effects of heavy metal exposure,”.

While the sharks may indeed be resistant to these pollutants, from the myriad other threats facing sharks – primarily persecution by humans it will not be enough to protect them .

experts announced earlier this month, including the shortfin mako, known as the fastest shark in the world, more sharks were being added to the official list of endangered species.

These results were published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin.

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