Tagged Mako Shark Now ‘Visiting’ Bermuda

November 13, 2013

With over hundreds of thousands of people visiting Bermuda every season, we can add one more with the visit of a young, female mako shark that is cruising by the island on its incredible, episodic journey.

Caught, satellite tagged and released 5.5 months ago off Ocean City, Maryland, the shark, dubbed GHOF1, an abbreviation for Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, has been tracked by the Nova Southeastern University’s Guy Harvey Research Institute [GHRI] as she has covered some 4,400 miles.

sharksmap

GHOF1 is among 16 mako sharks tagged with special satellite-linked devices allowing GHRI researchers to monitor their movements. The public can also follow these shark movements courtesy of an interactive online website set-up by GHRI.

The website is an educational outreach component of the institute’s quest to study shark migration patterns, with the ultimate goal being to better understand and protect them, as some species are threatened or endangered.

NSU’s Guy Harvey Research Institute began tagging mako sharks in 2009 to study their migratory patterns and now undertakes expeditions worldwide to study them. The school’s marine experts have tagged mako sharks as far away as Mexico and New Zealand. In addition to makos they have also tracked tiger, oceanic white tip and sand tiger sharks, as well as blue marlin.

“GHOF1, like all of mako sharks we’ve tracked, are truly international sharks, visiting the waters of several countries as they explore the oceans while covering enormous distances,” said Mahmood Shivji, director of the institute’s Save Our Seas Shark Research Center at NSU.

“What we are also learning is that these sharks do not roam randomly, but exhibit a finely tuned sense of place. Longer term tracking will tell us if they are also exhibiting a sense of time as well as place.”

Given the high fishing pressure on makos for their meat and fins, this species is showing declining population trends in parts of its range, which has resulted in the species being listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

Established in 1999, the Guy Harvey Research Institute [GHRI] at NSU is collaboration between the renowned marine artist, scientist and explorer, Dr. Guy Harvey, and Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center. The mission of the GHRI is to provide the scientific information necessary to understand, conserve, and effectively manage the world’s marine fishes and their ecosystems.

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Category: All, Environment, News

Comments (2)

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  1. It is truly amazing what technology can do.

  2. Mazumbo says:

    You have a cell phone or credit card your tagged too