Shark Tagging in Costa Rica

By Ocean First Institute 15/06/2015

Scientific Research

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Dr. Mikki McComb-Kobza from the Institute traveled to Guanacaste coast of Costa Rica. She met her collaborators Andre and Ilena from Mision Tiburon. They headed due south to Gulfo Dulce, a tropical fjord that is now known to be a juvenile scalloped hammerhead shark nursery area. Mision Tiburon has been tagging juveniles in this region for years and have identified many elements that point to this being a critical nursery area for this species. The area has not always been healthy and was deeply impacted by long lines and shrimp trawling in the 1980's until about five years ago. All of the permits to fish with destructive methods were bought out and have allowed the system to rebound. Juvenile sharks are more common now and in one day the team tagged 22 juvenile scalloped hammerheads! The goal is to get national protection and designation of this area as a hammerhead shark sanctuary. Andres and Ilena believe these juveniles migrate out as adults to Coco's and Galapagos islands where they are a draw for dive tourism. Further tagging of adults is currently underway.

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