A team of researchers with members from the U.S., France and the U.K. has found evidence showing reductions in shark populations in a part of the Indian ocean thought to be nearly pristine—the Chagos archipelago. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the group describes their study of shark populations in the archipelago over time and what they found.
In this modern age of human encroachment across the planet, there are still some places that are believed to be very much like they were before humans arrived, including the Chagos archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean, thousands of miles away from any major land mass. In this new effort, the researchers wondered if, despite its remoteness, the archipelago might actually have been changed by humans. They chose this particular archipelago because unlike similar ones, it has a recorded history. Humans have been visiting the archipelago and places near it for hundreds of years, and many of them have kept records of things like fish and shark population estimates.
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