[From the introduction]
Within the last century shark populations have declined at an alarming rate (Baum et al. 2003; Dulvy et al. 2008; Ferretti et al. 2010) which is thought to influence the very structure of the marine world (Edgar et al. 2011). An explosion of literature has recently addressed these declines and the urgency at which protection is needed (Sims 2009). Historically, declines have been mainly attributed to factors including increased fishing pressure and habitat degradation in combination with life history traits (Ferretti et al. 2010; Garla et al. 2006) and a lack of laws and policies aimed to protect sharks (Pough et al. 2009). In this paper, after a closer examination of the issues, I will examine the current migratory and residency behaviors of scalloped hammerheads, Sphyrna lewini, in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. I will then address the impact of the tourism industry on this species and the effectiveness of marine protected areas for Sphyrna lewini conservation.
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