The dusky shark is one of the largest U.S. Atlantic shark species, and it is also one of the most imperiled. Dusky sharks may be one of the lesser-known shark species. What they lack in name recognition, however, they make up for in all-around astonishing behavior. When they’re not busy eating other sharks, these 400-pound silver behemoths are known to migrate thousands of miles around the world. But even an apex predator needs protecting. Though dusky shark fishing was outlawed in 2000, many duskies still get caught up — and killed — in longline gear that targets other fish. This is known as “bycatch,” and so far government regulators have refused to do much about it. As a result, the dusky shark population is now just a fraction of what it was before the 1980s. That’s bad news for lovers of Shark Week — and for the ocean ecosystem. Similar to grizzlies and wolves, dusky sharks sit atop the food chain, where they help maintain the marine environment by eliminating sick or weak prey. Without these sharks, this delicate, watery web begins to unravel. Thankfully, a federal judge in D.C. ruled recently that the National Marine Fisheries Service violated […]

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