Shark Science Monday: Jim Gelsleichter discusses how pollution can affect sharks

The latest Shark Science Monday features University of North Florida researcher Jim Gelsleichter discussing how industrial and pharmaceutical chemicals that we let into the environment can negatively affect sharks.

Leave a question for Jim in the comments and either he or I will get back to you.



  1. Jim Gelsleichter · November 8, 2010

    Damn, that’s an ugly m’fer…

  2. Rick James · November 10, 2010

    Dr. Jim,
    Are the sharks absorbing pollution through their skin, gills, or is it believed to be primarily through consumption of prey?

    Is there empirical evidence that some pollution is actually affecting shark heath?

    Is that a European handbag or did David make you hold his purse while he filmed you?

  3. Jim Gelsleichter · November 10, 2010

    Rick: The main route of uptake for most organic contaminants is likely diet (many are likely to associate with organic material and won’t stay in the water column for long). However, uptake of the more water-soluble chemicals is likely a combination of diet and gill absorption. Skin is not expected to be a major route of accumulation.

    Not much evidence – I do not believe that we have seen strong evidence of organism-level effects of pollution in sharks…just biochemical evidence of exposure (increased production of pollutant detoxification enzymes, which break down the pollutants). We are studying responses to Deepwater Horizon right now and it will be interesting to see if there are major effects.

    lol, that would just be a soft, cheap briefcase.

  4. AHmed · December 3, 2010

    Dr Jim, in the past few days there has been multiple shark attacks along the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba, not from the same shark, and it happened very sudden (6 so far within 48h)

    Normally the water temp in December is around 18-22c but this year its 28c (as reported by more than 20 pro scuba divers in the area)

    could this be a result of an underwater seismic activity or anything related to this topic?
    best regards

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