Lemon sharks return to birthplace to give birth

Lemon shark on Wetpixel

A new paper accepted for publication in the journal Molecular Ecology has used genetic profiling to determine that lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) return to their birthplace to give birth to their own young. The study has involved over 2,000 young sharks in Bimini Lagoon, Bahamas, over the past 20 years. Lemon sharks take between 15 to 18 years to reach sexual maturity so the first “crop” of mature females have now started to return to the lagoon to breed.

The results of the study emphasises how vulnerable shark populations are to over-fishing, particularly if this takes place close to local breeding or birthing grounds.

(Image from Shutterstock)