Dr. Jodie Rummer from James Cook University, whom has done many studies on coral reefs; concluded that sharks help maintain PH distributions. The risk of death for sharks in the ocean are very high in acidic conditions when the gills of the embryo aren’t fully developed.
“This is when the embryos may be most vulnerable. So, future projections are still not the best-case scenario for the sharks,” Dr. Rummer explained.
Epaulette shark eggs usually are incubated 3-4 months before they hatch. Researchers counted gill and tail movements of developing embryos and are monitored further by survival or growth. Sharks, rays, and skates are considered the most vulnerable of marine vertebrates.
Dr. Rummer says that recent studies from her group suggest adult epaulette sharks, after prolonged exposure to high carbon dioxide to simulate ocean acidification, are not affected physiologically in terms of metabolic performance. “Therefore, if these sharks are able to tolerate challenging conditions as adults, they must also be able to early in life, and maybe even more so!” she said.