Sharks & Other Fish


Basking sharks filmed by an AUV for the first time

Three things you may not know about basking sharks:
1.     The basking shark is the 2nd largest fish in the ocean.
2.     While it’s gaping mouth can fit a human, it filter feeds on tiny plankton.
3.     WHOI’s SharkCam captured the first Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) footage of basking sharks.
Learn more here: go.whoi.edu/basking-sharkcam

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Blue sharks use eddies for fast track to food

Blue shark

Blue sharks use large, swirling ocean currents, known as eddies, to fast-track their way down to feed in the ocean twilight zone—a layer of the ocean between 200 and 1000 meters deep containing the largest fish biomass on Earth, according to new research by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Applied Physics Lab at the University of Washington (UW).

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A tunnel to the Twilight Zone

Blue shark

Scientists track hungry blue sharks as they ride swirling currents down to the ocean twilight zone—a layer of the ocean containing the largest fish biomass on Earth

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Sharks & Other Fish

Fish serve important ecological and economic functions. Ecologically, they are both predator and prey, providing food for other animals, and serve to keep the numbers of prey species in check, many of which could destroy important ecosystems such as coral reefs and mangroves if their numbers are allowed to grow.

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Shark Facts

Nurse shark

What are they? Sharks are elasmobranchs, a group of animals that includes rays and skates, whose members have a skeleton…

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Flounder Now Tumor-free in Boston Harbor

Flounder Now Tumor-free in Boston Harbor

In the late 1980s, more than three-quarters of the winter flounder caught in Boston Harbor – ”one of the most polluted harbors in America – ”showed signs of liver disease, many of them with cancerous tumors. But now, a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has documented a dramatic rebound in flounder health spurred by decades of remediation efforts, including a $3.8 billion project to construct a sewage treatment plant and a 9.5-mile discharge tunnel with a 6,600-foot-long outfall diffuser. The findings appear in the Nov. 20, 2018 issue of the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms.

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The Secret Tuna Nursery

The Secret Tuna Nursery

WHOI biologists and physical oceanographers combine expertise to reveal a place in the ocean where some tuna are born.

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Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

The twilight zone is a part of the ocean 660 to 3,300 feet below the surface, where little sunlight can reach. It is deep and dark and cold, and the pressures there are enormous. Despite these challenging conditions, the twilight zone teems with life that helps support the ocean’s food web and is intertwined with Earth’s climate. Some countries are gearing up to exploit twilight zone fisheries, with unknown impacts for marine ecosystems and global climate. Scientists and engineers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are poised to explore and investigate this hidden frontier.

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When the Hunter Became the Hunted

When the Hunter Became the Hunted

In waters off Mexico’s Guadalupe Island, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) engineers deployed the REMUS SharkCam, a torpedo-shaped robotic vehicle…

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A Big Decline of River Herring

A Big Decline of River Herring

River herring used to run up coastal streams in great numbers in springtime, returning from the ocean to spawn in fresh water. But their populations have plummeted. WHOI biologist Joel Llopiz is investigating critical gaps in understanding river herring’s larval stage just after they hatch.

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