Biologists with OCEARCH believe they may have found something truly unique in the ocean waters surrounding Long Island, New York.
The team believes it may be the first-known nursery for great white sharks ever discovered, which means we could finally get a better understanding of great white shark reproduction, something that has long been clouded.
The mission to find out where great white sharks were giving birth was one of the biggest goals of the OCEARCH founder, and now that they’ve found something that might be a natural birthing place for the species, tagging and research can begin so we can monitor the species.
“It’s kind of like step two in the science,” said Chris Fischer, founder of Ocearch and the expedition’s leader. “When we started this work... back in 2012, 2013, the real question was where are these sharks in the North Atlantic giving birth? Because that’s where they’re most vulnerable.”
The team is convinced that this could be one of the most important oceanic discoveries to date, as it now provides us a window into the lives of the great white shark, which is a very misunderstood species.
The team took blood samples and muscle biopsies of the specimens it found and then released them back into the wild. The hope is to build a database of information; hopefully one that can be used to genetically trace their origins.
As a part of the tagging process, GPS devices have been attached to nine pups that are activated every time a shark’s dorsal fin gets near the ocean’s surface. This will allow scientists to track where they go and monitor them.
The team says that this research will not hurt the well-being of the sharks. On the contrary, it will help us to study them up close and track their whereabouts so we can better learn to keep them safe from unforeseen dangers.
Source: CBS News via Daily Mail