Summer Shark Research Heats Up at WHOI

SeaDiscovery.com
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Summer Shark: Photo courtesy of WHOI

WHOI scientists will collaborate with the non-profit shark research organization OCEARCH on a month-long expedition starting out on 31, July 2013, to tag white sharks and collect valuable blood and tissue samples off the coast of Cape Cod. The OCEARCH vessel is uniquely equipped to catch, tag, and bio-sample sharks before they are released.

As mythic as sharks are, surprisingly little is known about these apex ocean predators. Scientists and engineers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are teaming up with strategic partners to gather crucial scientific data on these elusive creatures and to inform the public about their findings.

Little is known about population sizes and movements of many large shark species.  “We’re missing the very basics: what they eat, how often they eat, where they breed. There’s a real knowledge gap,” said Simon Thorrold, WHOI senior scientist, who will conduct research aboard the M/V OCEARCH.

The expedition will help scientists collect the information needed to inform potential conservation and public safety strategies for Cape Cod’s white sharks.

“I’ve been studying shark ecology, life history, and behavior for just about 30 years. And the reason I do that is so we can have the best available, most comprehensive information on how these animals live, ultimately so we can manage them at sustainable levels,” said Greg Skomal, WHOI adjunct scientist and MA Marine Fisheries biologist who will lead the research aboard the M/V OCEARCH.

As apex or top-of-the-food chain predators, fluctuations in shark numbers can affect the entire marine food web.

Preliminary research has found that many of these white sharks travel to remote oceanic habitats in the central North Atlantic Ocean, which makes it challenging for scientists to study them. Also, many of the individual white sharks are transient and do not stay in the waters off Cape Cod for long. This gives scientists a narrow window of opportunity to gather data on them while they pass through.

Until recently, scientists have been limited in their ability to observe white sharks. But engineers in WHOI’s Oceanographic Systems Lab, which invented the autonomous underwater vehicle REMUS, have developed with funding from the Discovery Channel new technologies to gather information on these creatures in their natural habitat. Some of these advances will be unveiled on Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” on Mon., Aug. 5 at 9 p.m.

To raise awareness about the white shark and gray seal populations in Cape Cod waters, WHOI will host a free public forum on Wed., Aug. 7 with presentations from the scientists and engineers who study these species. “White Sharks/Gray Seals: Chasing the Cape’s Most Charismatic Predators” will be held in the Redfield Auditorium located at 45 Water Street in Woods Hole from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Adjacent to the auditorium, a “discovery” tent will feature displays and hands-on educational activities about the range of shark and seal research conducted at WHOI. The tent activities will begin at 5:30 and run until 9 p.m. Space for the public event is limited. Reservations can be made online at http://www.whoi.edu/events/sharksandseals or by calling the WHOI Information Office at (508) 289-2252

 

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter April 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

Lerwick Harbor sees Seasonal Boost

The opening of the offshore season in northern waters has seen specialist oil industry vessels return to Lerwick Harbor during April to support subsea development projects.

ExxonMobil 1Q Profits Plunge 63%

Highlights   * Earnings of $1.8 billion decreased 63 percent from the first quarter of 2015.   * Earnings per share were $0.43 assuming dilution.   * Cash

KICT Welcomes MSC MEL 1 Service First Call

MSC Lana Voy-JA618R made its inaugural call at Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT), marking the launch of a new Middle East Loop 1 (MEL 1) Service.

Marine Science

ACR to Debut Pathfinder PRO SART at OTC

An important addition to any commercial vessel’s survival gear kit, the Pathfinder PRO SART is introduced by ACR Electronics, Inc. at this year’s OTC. The new search

Ocean Economy Set to Double in Size by 2030

The world’s oceans must be managed well to ensure the potential of an “ocean economy” that was worth US $ 1.5 trillion in 2010.   "Calculations based on the

ICS Criticises 'Prestige’ Judgement by Spanish Court

At a meeting of the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPCF) this week, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has strongly criticised the judgement

Unmanned Vehicles

Unmanned Aircraft Features Maritime Radar

An updated version of the shipborne UAS AR3 NET RAY is touted as the first in class providing maritime radar capability   The UAS producer TEKEVER is launching at Xponential-AUVSI,

Another Mission Needed to Recover El Faro’s VDR

The investigative team who located the El Faro’s voyage data recorder (VDR) has determined that another mission will be necessary in order to retrieve the device,

El Faro’s Voyage Data Recorder Located

The voyage data recorder (VDR) belonging to sunken cargo ship El Faro was found early Tuesday morning in 15,000 feet of water, about 41 miles northeast of Acklins and Crooked Islands,

Ocean Observation

Panama Canal Dismisses ITF Claims

The Panama Canal has dismisses claims by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) that questions industry standards and the operation of the Expanded Panama Canal’s new locks.

Ocean Economy Set to Double in Size by 2030

The world’s oceans must be managed well to ensure the potential of an “ocean economy” that was worth US $ 1.5 trillion in 2010.   "Calculations based on the

CKYHE Alliance to Reorganize US East Coast Service

CKYHE Alliance, COSCON, “K”Line, Yang Ming, Hanjin and Evergreen Line, is reorganizing their service network for Asia-US East Coast trade in 2016.   CKYHE Alliance

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0934 sec (11 req/sec)