Sunday, November 29, 2015

South Carolina Shark Tagging

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologists recently deployed a satellite transmitter on a 12-foot, 4-inch tiger shark in Port Royal Sound.

The large female, nicknamed "Harry-Ette" is the latest tiger shark to be tagged by a collaborative project that is studying the importance of South Carolina waters to tiger sharks.

Efforts to better understand tiger sharks in the Atlantic Ocean have been complicated by a lack of data. Until recently, researchers knew little about the tiger shark’s life history, when and where they migrate, and how they use different habitats, especially the coastal waters of the southeastern United States.

Harry-Ette is the twelfth tiger shark fitted with a satellite transmitter off the South Carolina coast in a joint effort between DNR, nonprofit research organization OCEARCH, the College of Charleston, and Captain Chip Michalove of Outcast Charters in Hilton Head.

The project crew has tagged 27 tiger sharks in total, although only twelve have been fitted with satellite tags. All 27 sharks were tagged in Port Royal and St. Helena Sounds.

The recent capture of Harry-Ette as well as another mature female tiger, both with fresh mating wounds, leads scientists to believe that Port Royal Sound and South Carolina nearshore waters are likely important to the reproductive cycles of tiger sharks.

Shark enthusiasts can track tiger sharks tagged in South Carolina by accessing OCEARCH's near-real time, free online Global Shark Tracker or by downloading the Global Shark Tracker App available for Apple and Android platforms.

source: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

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