A website launched by Nova Southeastern University’s Guy Harvey Research Institute in Hollywood, Florida, lets you monitor the movement of 18 satellite-tagged sharks via the internet and observe the extreme distances and depths these sea predators travel.
Public access to the project was well-timed to begin with Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week”, and lets shark enthusiasts follow the fish alongside teams of scientists who are looking to identify migration patterns and the ‘secret pathways’ that sharks cover.
NSU began tagging sharks in 2009 and tracks multiple species. As reported Tuesday in the Sun-Sentinel, here are some of the findings so far:
- One tiger shark, known as Harry Lindo, swam an unprecedented 27,000 miles in three years.
- A tiger shark and a shortfin mako, dove 3,000 feet deep.
- Others thrashed through the seas at up to 60 mph, all unusual feats for a fish.
- A tiger shark named Jamin has swum almost 13,000 miles in the past three years, from the Bahamas to South Florida to the Panhandle.
- Another tiger, Christina, swam only 1,630 miles in the same time period, hanging out between West Palm Beach and Grand Bahama.
- A mako named Carol, tagged off New Zealand, traveled to Fiji and back, covering about 10,000 miles in just over 11 months.
While tracking the movement of sharks is a cool tool for the public, the program’s primary goal is to protect sharks and maintain a healthy population.
According to the renowned marine scientist Guy Harvey, understanding where sharks migrate to and when they do it is crucial to their conservation.