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OCEARCH Tags and Releases White Shark Pups For The First Time Off Long Island
First satellite-tagged shark named “Montauk” can be tracked in real-time on the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker
NEW YORK (August 20, 2016)—Meet Montauk and Hudson, two young-of-the-year white sharks just tagged and released off Montauk, NY by OCEARCH and its collaborative team of multi-disciplined scientists.
“This is an exciting marine conservation event right here in our New York seascape,” said Jon Forrest Dohlin, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium.
“We've learned a lot about the adult sharks in recent years, but the pups are still a complete mystery,” said Tobey Curtis, lead scientist and Fisheries Manager at NOAA Fisheries. “Tagging these baby white sharks will help us better understand how essential Long Island waters are for their survival.”
Montauk, a 50-pound, 4-foot female white shark, and Hudson, a 67-pound, 5-foot male white shark, are the first two white sharks tagged by the shark-tagging partnership in New York waters. The tags on these young-of-the-year sharks will allow scientists to track their movements up and down the coast for the next several years.
The team, which includes researchers from WCS, NOAA Fisheries, South Hampton Schools, Florida Atlantic University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Stony Brook University, collected blood samples, fin clips, parasites, muscle sample and took measurements of the sharks. Each sample provides baseline data previously unattainable for white sharks in this initial phase of life.
The team also acoustically-tagged two dusky sharks and one dogfish; and will be working off Montauk for another 6 days.
“The presence of these apex predators is a good sign of the ecological health of our local ocean,” said Dr. Merry Camhi, Director of WCS’s New York Seascape Program.
In addition to assessing the health of the sharks while on the platform, WCS’ science team will use the data to further the understanding of the New York Seascape. “The WCS New York Aquarium will be featuring the results of our joined research expedition on our upcoming Ocean Wonders exhibit so that visitors can share in the excitement,” said Dohlin, Director of WCS’s New York Aquarium.
As Montauk’s fin breaks the surface, the satellite tag will transmit her location, allowing anyone and everyone to follow her movements by accessing the near-real time, free online Global Shark Tracker or by downloading the Global Shark Tracker App available for Apple and Android platforms.
Since her release, hundreds have already followed Montauk on Twitter (@SharkMontauk), engaging the public as her migration patterns unfold.
"We will be on the edge of our seats as we wait for Hudson to also ping," said Chris Fischer, OCEARCH Founding Chairman and Expedition Leader. "This is a historical moment and the first step in revealing the great white shark pupping ground. It's this kind of scientific data that will help us collectively make more informed decisions about how to protect this incredible species.”
About OCEARCH: OCEARCH is a recognized world leader in generating critical scientific data related to tracking (telemetry) and biological studies of keystone marine species such as great white and tiger sharks, in conjunction with conservation outreach and education at a measurable global scale. OCEARCH shares real-time migration data through OCEARCH’s Global Shark Tracker – In 2015, OCEARCH open sourced the data on the Global Shark Tracker to 2.3 million users. OCEARCH also inspires current and future generations of explorers, scientists, and stewards of the ocean through its STEM Learning Program. The free STEM Curriculum, available for grades K-8 and created in partnership with Landry’s, Inc. enables students to learn STEM skills while following the real-time data on the movements of their favorite sharks. The researchers OCEARCH supports work aboard the M/V OCEARCH, a 126’ Cat powered vessel equipped with a 75,000 lb. hydraulic research platform, where the ship serves as both mothership and at-sea laboratory. Scientists have approximately 15 minutes of access to live, mature sharks to conduct up to 12 studies. The sharks are measured, tissue and blood samples are collected, and satellite and acoustic transmitters are attached. Over 113 researchers from 59 regional and international institutions have partnered with OCEARCH.
WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347- 840-1242.
Wildlife Conservation Society's New York Aquarium is open every day of the year. Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Fall/winter/spring hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily. Tickets are $11.95 per person (ages 3 & up), and include Aquarium admission plus one admission to the new 4-D Theater; children age 2 and under are admitted free. Fridays after 4 p.m. in the summer and after 3 p.m. in the fall, Aquarium admission is by pay-what-you-wish donation. The aquarium is located on Surf Avenue at West 8th Street in Coney Island. The New York Aquarium is located on property owned by the City of New York, and its operation is made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. For directions, information on public events and programs, and other aquarium information, call 718- 265-FISH or visit our web site at http://www.nyaquarium.com. Now is the perfect time to visit and show support for the WCS New York Aquarium, a beloved part of Brooklyn and all of the City of New York. Due to Hurricane Sandy we are partially opened. Check our website for more information. www.nyaquarium.com.
About Costa: As the leading manufacturer of the world’s clearest polarized performance sunglasses, Costa offers superior lens technology and unparalleled fit and durability. Still handcrafted today in Florida, Costa has created the highest quality, best performing sunglasses for outdoor enthusiasts since 1983. For Costa, conservation is all about sustainable fishing. Many fisheries that should be vibrant and healthy are all but devoid of native fish because they have fallen victim to poor fishing practices, unregulated development, lack of watershed protection or all of the above. Costa works with partners around the world to help increase awareness and influence policy so that both the fish and fishermen of tomorrow will have healthy waters to enjoy. Costa encourages others to help in any way they can.