NEWSCAST - Tuesday, May 21st, 2019
- A study that Western University is involved in looks to protect and conserve critically endangered shark species
- Mackerel sharks are large, fast-swimming apex predators that include Hollywood heavy hitters like great whites (Jaws), mako (Deep Blue Sea) and the now-extinct Megalodon (Meg). One of the smallest mackerel sharks is the porbeagle – on average less than two metres long – and it’s one of the most critically endangered species of shark too.
- A new study from Western, Queen’s University Belfast and Inland Fisheries Ireland presents findings that will be crucial in helping porbeagles recover from 50 years of overfishing. Published by ICES Journal of Marine Science, the study includes valuable insights into porbeagle migratory patterns which will help shape long-term solutions for population management.
- In the Atlantic Ocean, porbeagles mainly live in two distinct populations: off eastern Canada between Newfoundland and South Carolina and a northeastern population between the Barents Sea between Norway and Africa. The northeastern population has been listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to a long history of overfishing and exploitation.
- After the population in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean crashed which resulted in there being fishing bans, fisheries continued on Canada’s east coast until 2013 and now this porbeagle population is also in danger.
- Paul Mensink from Western’s Department of Biology and his collaborators from Queen’s University Belfast and Inland Fisheries Ireland analyzed a long-term mark-and-recapture dataset from the Marine Sport Fish Tagging Programme which tagged 268 porbeagle sharks over 47 years, mainly in Irish waters. The Marine Sportfish Tagging Programme is a collaboration between Inland Fisheries Ireland and recreational anglers and is one of the longest-running shark tagging programmes in the world, with over 40,000 individual sharks tagged.
- The dataset revealed that Irish waters may act as a persistent summer gathering site for juvenile porbeagles, and that those juveniles may return to the same or nearby sites year after year. Remarkably, one of the tagged sharks moved from Ireland all the way to Canada, marking the first time this type of transatlantic movement had ever been recorded.
- The study also showed that porbeagles appear to be arriving into northern Irish coastal waters earlier and earlier each year, potentially indicating a shift in their long-term migratory movements.
- London’s Hindu community is receiving a huge boost from the city of London with a $1.6 million cultural expansion.
- Over the long weekend, there was a groundbreaking ceremony held at London’s Hindu Cultural Centre, which has been a gathering place for Hindus for the past 30 years.
- The centre has been around since 1974, and has expanded from a few dozen Indian families to now over 7,000, making it London’s fastest-expanding cultural community.
- The Hindu community’s expansion in the Forest City is in large part due to the great business opportunities, that come at a cheaper price than that of Toronto. Also, property prices are marginally cheaper for entire families to be able to settle.
- Fanshawe College and Western University are another big factor, with many Indian students moving to London to study at one or both of the institutions.
- This new grant will allow for the Cultural Centre to build an expansion, hoping to double its capacity. It includes an expanded prayer hall, an elevator and an accessible washroom.
- The board of directors for the Cultural Centre are hoping that more donations for the expansions will come pouring in once construction gets underway.
- The London Majors picked up their first win of the season last Friday with a 12th inning walk-off over the Brantford Red Sox to win an exciting game, 12-11.
- The game went into extra innings tied 9-9, but the Red Sox hit a two-run home run in the top of the 11th to go ahead 11-9.
- The Majors fought back in the bottom half of that inning though, with an error on what would have been the game-ending sending two across the plate.
- Then, newcomer Ismael Pena hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 12th to win it for London.
- The Majors were in action about 12 hours later, travelling to Welland for their first ever game against the new Jackfish. It was a tough one for London though, losing by a 9-1 final.
- The Majors will be in Kitchener on Thursday taking on the Panthers, then return home on Friday to play the Guelph Royals.
- Today will be gorgeous, with a high of 18 degrees and mostly sunny skies.
- Dropping down to 8 overnight with a bit of cloud cover.
- Tomorrow will see a high of 19 with a risk of thundershowers
- Thursday will be the warmest day of the week with a high of 24 and sunny skies.