Research

Shark Movement Patterns Research

Many of the larger commercially fished shark species are highly mobile, with some species known to make transoceanic migrations. Understanding the movement patterns of sharks is essential for effective management, and for designing the spatial extent of marine reserves to optimize conservation of these ecologically pivotal and mobile apex predators.

The GHRI, in collaboration with the Marine Programs Division of the Wildlife Conservation Society, is using a combination of field telemetry tracking, satellite tracking and genetic approaches to assess the short and long-term movement patterns of sharks. The current focus of this research is on determining movement patterns of blue sharks ( Prionace glauca) globally and Caribbean reef sharks ( Carcharhinus perezi) in relation to marine reserve boundaries in Brazil ( Fernando de Noronha archipelago) and Belize (Glovers Reef).

For scientific papers on this research, please see the following references in the GHRI publications list:

  • Garla, R.C., D.D. Chapman, M.S. Shivji, B.M. Wetherbee and A.F. Amorim. 2006. Habitat of juvenile Caribbean reef sharks, Carcharhinus perezi, at two oceanic insular marine protected areas in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean: Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and Atol das Rocas, Brazil . Fisheries Research 81: 236-247.

  • Garla, R.C., Chapman, D.D., Wetherbee, B.M., Shivji, M. 2006. Movement patterns of young Caribbean reef sharks, Carcharhinus perezi, at Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Brazil: the potential of marine protected areas for conservation of a nursery ground. Marine Biology 149:189-199.

  • Chapman, D., E.K. Pikitch, E. Babcock and M. Shivji. 2005. Marine reserve design and evaluation using automated acoustic telemetry: a case-study involving coral reef-associated sharks in the Mesoamerican Caribbean. Marine Technology Society Journal. 39: 42-53.