Tagged sharks return home as researchers learn more

| 09/11/2011

23321-largest_Tiger_Shark1_The_Bahamas_June_07 (288x300).jpg(CNS): Three tiger sharks tagged off  the coast of Grand Cayman as part of a collaborative research project have returned to local waters after almost a year travelling around the Caribbean. Although Tina was last tracked off the coast of Jamaica, Coco is in the deep water off Grand Cayman at present and Luiza, who was last heard of off Honduras – Nicaragua in the summer, has come home for a visit and officials are watching to see when she will leave again on her voyage around the Caribbean. The three sharks were given satellite tags as part of an extensive survey of the sharks around the Cayman Islands, which has revealed information on what species there are and some of the threats to Cayman’s large marine animals.

The project is a joint effort between the Department of Environment (DoE), Marine Conservation International (MCI), the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) at Nova Southeastern University and the Save Our Seas Foundation.

Studies elsewhere have shown that where large sharks have been fished out, the resulting catch of desirable fish for the fishers has drastically changed and reduced in species and numbers. The current study will provide information on the situation in the Cayman Islands and help to prevent such a disastrous situation for our waters.

The long migration paths of the three tigers show the sharks use a large part of the Caribbean Sea. Dr Mauvis Gore from Marine ConservationInternational said the tracks show the extensive areas that the tiger sharks need to patrol for food and in turn help to keep a balance in the seas.

Despite their precarious situation, there is no law to protect sharks in Cayman waters but hopes for the species have been raised in the region following the ban on shark fishing by Belize, Mexico, St Maarten, Honduras and the Bahamas. Timothy Austin, Deputy Director of the DoE, welcomed the ban by neighbouring countries.  “This will give a boost to the health of the marine environment for the Caribbean,” he said.

A boost to shark conservation has also come from the Cayman Islands Brewery, which is donating five cents to the project from the sale of every can of its new award winning White Tip lager.

Any sightings of shark, whale or dolphin helps and can be reported to the DoE at doe@gov.ky or on 949-8469.

See track of sharks here

Category: Science and Nature

Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We need to start feeding these suckers some good old Lionfish so they can help with that problem. (yeah I know you not supposed to feed um but what the heck)

  2. Anonymous says:

    This technology could also be applied to the premier so we can track his movements and learn about his habits more because he sure doesn't tell us!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just in time for the Pirates Week 5K sea swim, swimmers I would not lag behind if I was you.

    Seriously, fantastic research and great to be able to understand their migration patterns more

  4. Anonymous says:

    Fisheries aside, there is noooo way i ever want to see that thingnear me while im surfing hahaha

  5. VirginiaLee says:

    It is wonderful to know that this rsearch is going on in and around the Cayman Islands. Kudos to the DOE and their international counterparts!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Ahhhh humbug!

  7. Whodatis says:

    H'yeah … h'yeah … lil' hotfoot tings – dey in HEAT!

    Dey' cum' back fa da good ol' Cayman Christmus' luwin'!


    • Whodatis says:

      Uh-oh, it looks as if a few people have never experienced some nice Caymanian cool-breeze lovin'.

      Poor souls.

      If you did you wouldn't be worried about that rollover bearing down on ya – no, ya would'a been married off wit coupl'a chil'ren by now!


      Lighten up folks … geesh!

  8. Anonymous says:

    If these sharks were within catching distance why on earth did they not catch them to make the waters safer?

    • Anonymous says:

      cayman kind……


      • Anonymous says:

        This sort of post which associates any sort of ignorant post with being Caymanian is racist.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ignorant retard!

    • leavesharkyalone says:

      Maybe because the waters are their environment, not yours?  We might like to act like we are at the top of the food chain, but that does not give us the right to go around destroying other creatures because they might bite our bahookies.  If you don't like it, stay out the water and do not create the supposed problem in the first place.  And no, im not some crazed animal loving muppet, I simply have some respect for the Earth and the others we share it with. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, is this not why we pay the DOE so much?  To protect us in the Environment – but they are basically adding to the problem.

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly if they can’t protect us in the environment why do we even have that department.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just had to reply to this one.  Methinks the DOE is that part of government that is paid to protect the environment FROM PEOPLE LIKE YOU so the rest of us can continue to benefit from it!

        Now, we jus' need a department to protect us from your, and likeminded people's utter stupidity, but mental health issues have always been ignored in the Cayman Islands!

  9. insane says:

    They was rolled over las year???

  10. Anonymous says:

    40 fresh turtle hatchlings coming up!

  11. Success!!! says:

    The Department of Tourism must be doing cartwheels – another stayover visitor returns!!!  I can see tomorrow's headines already…


  12. Welcome says:

    Welcome home sharky