Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Deep-sea Sharks Wired For Sound

Date:
April 23, 2008
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
Deep-sea sharks have been tagged and tracked and their habitats precisely mapped in world-first research to test the conservation value of areas closed to commercial fishing.

An acoustic tag attached to a gulper shark.
Credit: CSIRO

Deep-sea sharks have been tagged and tracked and their habitats precisely mapped in world-first research to test the conservation value of areas closed to commercial fishing. Scientists from the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans National Research Flagship recently fitted acoustic tags to 50 gulper sharks, swellsharks and green eye dogfish near Port Lincoln, South Australia.

Related Articles


They will track the shark’s movements in a closed area designed to protect the gulper shark – a species which is severely depleted over much of its range and is nominated for protection under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

“Half of the fish harvested in Australia’s south-east fishery come from a thin belt of water along the south-eastern continental shelf at depths of 200-700 metres,” says CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship scientist, Dr Alan Williams.

“This rich belt yields prime table fish such as blue eye trevalla and pink ling, but is also home to several shark species vulnerable to over-fishing.

“The fishery has taken steps to reduce its impact on sharks by putting in place a network of three closed areas located off South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales.

“To assess the optimum size and location of such areas, we need to know how much time the sharks spend there, what the seabed habitats are like, and what role they play in the ecology of the sharks. For example, the sharks may rely on shelter in rough habitats, and these are scarce.”

The research applied tagging techniques never before tested at such depths and developed new handling practices to minimise stress caused by the tag and release process.

The closed area, which covers approximately 1200-square-kilometres and is mostly in 200 to 1000m depths, was mapped from the Marine National Facility Research Vessel Southern Surveyor. Multi-beam sonar was used to draw the contours of steep rocky banks, narrow muddy terraces and submarine canyons on a previously blank area of seabed.

A towed underwater camera system was used for fine-scale observations of seabed habitats and communities, fish behaviour and habitat use, and to estimate fish distribution and abundance. In collaboration with the University of Western Australia, baited video cameras were also used to estimate fish abundance.

The sharks were caught and tagged from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) Marine Research Vessel Ngerin, with fishing assistance provided by scientists from the Australian Maritime College National Centre for Marine Conservation and Resource Sustainability. Some sharks were released at the surface while others were lowered to the seabed in large cages fitted with video surveillance systems to monitor their recovery.

The sharks will be tracked for the next three years by a network of 24 acoustic listening stations moored 100 metres off the complex and steep seabed. These listening stations were deployed with pinpoint accuracy using the precise positioning capabilities of the Marine National Facility. Four listening stations raised for an early preview have detected a flurry of activity, receiving 5700 acoustic ‘pings’ in five days from 42 of the sharks moving in all directions.

“This large scale experiment, the deepest of its kind in the world, will be important to understand the balance between maintaining fisheries, and protecting the marine ecosystem,” Dr Williams says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "Deep-sea Sharks Wired For Sound." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080416091012.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2008, April 23). Deep-sea Sharks Wired For Sound. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080416091012.htm
CSIRO Australia. "Deep-sea Sharks Wired For Sound." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080416091012.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) The Houston Zoo released video of a male baby okapi. Okapis, also known as the "forest giraffe", are native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Video is mute from source. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins