Team finds first-ever location of great white shark nursery.
Much has been written and filmed about the great white sharks in the oceans of the world, but little is known about their birthing ground and what happens to the young as they mature into adult sharks.
But, according to CBS News, a team of researchers are saying they have found the first known birthing site for the sharks, on the North Atlantic Coastline, and they are hailing the discovery as the most significant the group has ever made.
Founder of Ocsearch, Chris Fischer, said when the group started the work on sharks back in 2012, the real question they were looking to answer was where are these sharks giving birth, because that would be were they were the most vulnerable, and conservation efforts could be the most beneficial.
Ocearch, a recognized world leader in generating critical scientific data related to tracking (telemetry) and biological studies of keystone marine species, according to their website, told CBS the research process involves catching a shark in a hydraulic lift mechanism, and tagging the sharks with a tracking device and releasing them as quickly as possible. The team is also taking muscle biopsies and blood samples from the subjects.
The researchers hope to be able to determine if any of these sharks in the birthing area are descended from some of the great whites they had previously encountered along the coast of Cape Cod.
Fischer commented, “If we thought we were hurting these animals, we wouldn’t do what we were doing. We don’t learn if we don’t let them go in good shape. The fact of the matter is that we have to get some tracking devices on a handful of these animals so we can help them all thrive.”
The tracking devices, attached to nine of the sharks at the site, are only activated when the shark’s dorsal fin breaks the surface, and are now reportedly in the area off the coast of Long Island. The team expects them to remain in that general location until they become adult sharks, around the age of 20.