Ragged-tooth Shark Movement Patterns

This project falls under SHARKLIFE MAIN OBJECTIVE: Through scientific research, education and awareness bring about positive change to the current destructive trends of ocean exploitation. Identifying key conservation areas and movement patterns of pregnant Carcharias taurus in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

raggie sodwana bay

This study aims to identify key congregation areas and movement patterns of pregnant spotted Ragged-tooth sharks Carcharias taurus within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa to inform park authorities about conservation priority areas. Every year, between December and March, pregnant C. taurus migrate into the Marine Protected Area (MPA) where they spend most of their gestation period.

Due to their low fecundity this life stage is crucial to sustain their population. However these sharks face a number of threats whilst within the park such as: sport fishing and disturbance by SCUBA divers. The understanding of the sharks’ spatial and temporal abundance is therefore key to protect important congregation sites and migratory corridors. However, little is known about the movement patterns of C. taurus within the iSimangaliso MPA. This study aims to fill these knowledge gaps by conducting daily underwater surveys to identify aggregation sites. Additionally, we are investigating interactions between SCUBA divers and C. taurus on a popular dive site in order to develop shark-diver interaction guidelines. These guidelines will be proposed to the park authorities for enhanced protection of pregnant C. taurus within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

This study is in collaboration with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority. 

 

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Sharklife Ocean Centre

Sodwana Bay, kwaZulu Natal
South Africa 3974

Email: info@sharklife.co.za
Ph: 035 571 0417

www.sharklife.co.za