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.

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 July 30, 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

AP (July 29, 2014) Food scraps and other items left on the grounds by picnickers brings unwelcome visitors to the grounds of the world famous and popular Louvre Museum in Paris. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jane Goodall Warns Great Apes Face Extinction

Jane Goodall Warns Great Apes Face Extinction

AFP (July 29, 2014) The world's great apes face extinction within decades, renowned chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall warned Tuesday in a call to arms to ensure man's closest relatives are not wiped out. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rat Infestation at Paris' Tuileries Garden

Rat Infestation at Paris' Tuileries Garden

AFP (July 29, 2014) An infestation of rats is causing concern among tourists at Paris' most famous park -- the Tuileries garden next to the Louvre Museum. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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