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A spiny dogfish shark swims in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Washington. NOAA / Wikimedia Commons

By Elizabeth Claire Alberts

There are trillions of microplastics in the ocean — they bob on the surface, float through the water column, and accumulate in clusters on the seafloor. With plastic being so ubiquitous, it's inevitable that marine organisms, such as sharks, will ingest them.

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A sand tiger shark swims over the USS Tarpon in Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. Tane Casserley / NOAA

By John R. Platt

Here at The Revelator, we love a good shark story.

The problem is, there aren't all that many good shark stories. According to recent research, sharks and their relatives represent one of the world's most imperiled groups of species. Of the more than 1,250 known species of sharks, skates, rays and chimeras — collectively known as chondrichthyan fishes — at least a quarter are threatened with extinction.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A whale shark swims in the Egyptian Red Sea. Derek Keats / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Gavin Naylor

Sharks elicit outsized fear, even though the risk of a shark bite is infinitesimally small. As a marine biologist and director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, I oversee the International Shark Attack File – a global record of reported shark bites that has been maintained continuously since 1958.

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There are hundreds of species of sharks in the world, and they have been around since before the dinosaurs. Albert kok / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

Every day, sharks suffer from different threats. Up to 100 million sharks disappear every year, due to destructive fishing by humans and the impact of climate breakdown. One-third of the world's known shark species have been listed as "threatened" species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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Maine officials are investigating the state's first potentially fatal shark attack. Hermanus Backpackers / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

Maine may have experienced its first-ever fatal shark attack.

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A landmark study by Global FinPrint reveals sharks are absent on many of the world's coral reefs, indicating they are functionally extinct. Global FinPrint

By JoAnn Adkins

A landmark study by Global FinPrint reveals sharks are absent on many of the world's coral reefs, indicating they are functionally extinct — too rare to fulfill their normal role in the ecosystem.

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Amani Webber-Schultz grabs an adult blacktip shark aboard a research vessel with the Field School. Field School

When Jasmin Graham describes her research on smalltooth sawfish, a critically endangered ray with a unique "saw" at the front of its face, she explains how "nothing else looks like this in the ocean; those species evolved to do something no other shark or ray can do." It resonates, and people understand why diversity matters in sharks, she said. She expanded on this same concept to emphasize how diversity also matters in finding solutions to the challenges that threaten elasmobranchs and in those scientists doing that work.

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Women walk from Santa Monica beach after a social media workout on the sand on May 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Independence Day weekend is a busy time for coastal communities as people flock to the beaches to soak up the sun during the summer holiday. This year is different. Some of the country's most popular beach destinations in Florida and California have decided to close their beaches to stop the surge in coronavirus cases.

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Humpback whale splashing in the North West Atlantic Ocean, Massachusetts. Tim Graham / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

In a move that environmentalists warned could further imperil hundreds of endangered species and a protected habitat for the sake of profit, President Donald Trump on Friday signed a proclamation rolling back an Obama-era order and opening nearly 5,000 square miles off the coast of New England to commercial fishing.

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Beachcombers walk along Manresa State Beach in Santa Cruz County, California on May 9, 2020, after a shark attack claimed the life of a surfer. Karl Mondon / MediaNews Group / The Mercury News via Getty Images

A 26-year-old man was killed by a shark as he was surfing near a state beach in Northern California on Saturday, according to authorities, as The New York Times reported.

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A blue shark in the Channel Islands off California. NOAA SWFSC/Flickr

By Jasmin Graham

Blue sharks are among the widest-ranging shark species in the oceans. We know this partly because from 1962 to 2013, 117,962 blue sharks were tagged as part of the ongoing Cooperative Shark Tagging Program.

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