Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists track great hammerhead shark migration

Date:
February 28, 2011
Source:
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Summary:
A new study details the first scientific research to successfully track a great hammerhead shark using satellite tag technology.

A new study by scientists in University of Miami's R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program provides new insight into the largely unknown migratory patterns and habitat use of this endangered species of shark using satellite data.
Credit: Neil Hammerschlag

A study led by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science details the first scientific research to successfully track a great hammerhead shark using satellite tag technology.

Rosenstiel Schhol Research Assistant Professor Neil Hammershlag and colleagues tracked one of the nomadic sharks for 62 days to uncover its northeast journey from the coast of South Florida to the middle of the Atlantic off the coast of New Jersey. The straight line point-to-point distance of 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) represents a range extension for this species. The data also revealed the shark entering the Gulf Stream current and open-ocean waters of the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.

"This animal made an extraordinary large movement in a short amount of time," said Hammerschlag, director of the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program at the UM Rosenstiel School. "This single observation is a starting point, it shows we need to expand our efforts to learn more about them."

The animal was likely following food, such as mahi-mahi and jacks, off the continental slope and into the Gulf Stream, according to the authors.

This preliminary study is part of a larger effort by Hammerschlag to satellite track tropical sharks to identify hotspots -- areas that are important for feeding, mating, and pupping -- and to document their largely unknown migration routes. In the last year, the R.J. Dunlap team has tagged the fins more than 50 large and environmentally threatened sharks in Florida and Bahamas, among them great hammerhead, bull and tiger sharks.

The great hammerhead shark is listed as endangered in the northwest Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN) due to a suspected population decline of nearly 50 percent over the last 10 years. The shark is found in tropical waters worldwide and is under threat of extinction due to overfishing for its large fins, which are prized for shark fin soup, and from accidental bycatch from commercial fishing operations.

"This study provides evidence that great hammerheads can migrate into international waters, where these sharks are vulnerable to illegal fishing," said Hammerschlag. "By knowing the areas where they are vulnerable to exploitation we can help generate information useful for conservation and management of this species."

DNA analysis of great hammerhead fins sold in the Asian shark fin market has shown that a large majority of the sharks came from Atlantic waters.

The paper was published in the current issue of the journal Endangered Species Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. N Hammerschlag, AJ Gallagher, DM Lazarre, C Slonim. Range extension of the Endangered great hammerhead shark Sphyrna mokarran in the Northwest Atlantic: preliminary data and significance for conservation. Endangered Species Research, 2011; 13 (2): 111 DOI: 10.3354/esr00332

Cite This Page:

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. "Scientists track great hammerhead shark migration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110228090210.htm>.
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. (2011, February 28). Scientists track great hammerhead shark migration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110228090210.htm
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. "Scientists track great hammerhead shark migration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110228090210.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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