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Sharks & Other Fish


‘Rolls-Royce’ of shark cameras can extend to turtles, whales, seals and squid for ocean’s big picture

Boston Herald

A high-tech SharkCam invented by a Cape Cod researcher offers an unprecedented window into the lives of the ocean’s toothy predators, and can also extend to seals, whales, turtles and squid for a big-picture view of precious ecosystems and how to protect them. “These vehicles, these underwater robots that look like highly complex systems are just an extension of yourself to be able go where people can’t go, and there’s no limitation to what they can do,” said Amy Kukulya, research engineer and principal investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Sharks and the ocean’s twilight zone: Some female great white sharks can deep dive for hours

Boston Herald

Much of the shark focus around the Cape is on great whites roaming close to the shoreline as they prowl for seals, but researchers are finding out that several sharks are actually diving deep into the twilight zone out in the middle of the ocean. Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod are researching the sharks’ deep diving behavior and how sharks’ bodies have evolved to handle these deeper conditions. They’re learning that deep diving is far more frequent and extensive across species than previously thought, said Simon Thorrold, a senior scientist in the biology department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

New technology expected to play a key role in shark research

Cape Cod Times

In November, Skomal and the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy fitted two sharks with new satellite positioning tags developed by a team at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution that can be fastened to a white shark’s fin without having to capture it and drill mounting holes.

‘SharkCam’ films basking sharks off Scotland

BBC News

A robot camera has been used in UK seas for the first time to monitor the behaviour of basking sharks. WHOI’s SharkCam was deployed off the west coast of Scotland where the sharks gather to breed after migrating from waters off west Africa.

Ocean Encounters: Sharks!

Sharks are one of the most iconic, and feared, groups of animals in our wild ocean. Like other apex predators, they play a crucial role in the ecosystem they call home. Join us to learn about sharks and their behavior and role in a healthy ocean with shark biologist Greg Skomal, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, and WHOI ocean ecologist Simon Thorrold.

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Tagging Sharks to Study the Twilight Zone

Former WHOI Joint Program graduate student and current University of Washington postdoc Camrin Braun and his team on the charter fishing vessel Machaca managed to tag two porbeagles, a relative of the goblin shark, about 30 miles east of Chatham, Mass. One was a female nearly seven feet long and weighing 270 pounds. A male came alongside the boat while the team was tagging her and, when they were finished, they quickly hooked the curious male, which measured 6.5 feet and weighed 230 pounds.

Both fish are now equipped with fin-mounted SPOT satellite tags, which will report their location each time they surface and can last up to five years. For the Ocean Twilight Zone team, the big predators are an important indicator of where mesopelagic animals are collecting deep below the surface. In short, the predator will go where the prey is.

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Whale sharks are on the move, but why?

Science 101

Whale sharks are endangered, hard to track, and minimally protected, but thanks to a new tracking study and a lot more information, scientists have been able to monitor the movement of these gentle ocean giants.

Climate change threatens everyone’s favorite little fish

Cape Cod Times

The well-being of the colorful clownfish of “Finding Nemo” fame is closely tied to its habitat among the sea anemone, according to a 10-year study by an international team of scientists. The little fish does not appear to have the ability to adapt to the rapid environmental effects of climate change.