We may fear them, but they should fear us. Overzealous fishers have had a dramatic effect on populations of Pacific reef sharks in recent decades, causing their numbers to plummet by more than 90 percent. Drawing on new research that overlaps shark population data with information on human fishing activity in the Pacific, scientists say that sharks fare far better in areas of the ocean where human fishing activity is minimal. In areas with no or few humans, sharks were recorded in populations of up to 337 per square mile, a number that dropped to about 26 per square mile near the Hawaiian Islands and Samoa.
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