By working with artisanal fishermen
based in Mulegé on the east coast of the Baja Peninsula, PIP
Photographer Andy Murch was able to obtain the first live images of
Pacific Sharpnose Sharks. As well as images of free swimming animals,
Andy spent time composing compelling images of sharks thrashing on
long-lines. These images were subsequently used by many conservation
initiatives around the world.
The IUCN lists the Pacific
Sharpnose Shark as Data Deficient but intense fishing pressure from the
artisanal fleets along both coasts of the Sea of Cortez are undoubtedly
taking a toll on the endemic population.
On the second leg of the
expedition, Andy traveled to the Gulf of Mexico to accompany Dr Eric
Hoffmayer from the University of Southern Mississippi on a tagging
expedition of inshore shark species. Although conditions close to the
Mississippi Delta were far from ideal for photography, Andy was able to
build a portfolio of images of Atlantic Sharpnose Sharks which are
considered 'least concern' but have a limited range and are therefore
vulnerable to habitat destruction.