Tracking Oceanic Whitetip Sharks

Tracking oceanic whitetip shark ( Carcharhinus longimanus) migrations in the Caribbean and adjacent regions

Track Oceanic Whitetip Sharks

Species Background

The oceanic whitetip shark is a mainly pelagic species with a global distribution in tropical and sub-tropical seas. Although once considered as one of the most abundant sharks in the open ocean, this species has been subject to enormous fishing pressure and is now believed to have declined precipitously in much of its range. The IUCN lists the oceanic whitetip as Vulnerable globally, facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. Furthermore this species has been assessed as Critically Endangered in the Northwest and Western Central Atlantic Ocean. There is, therefore, a need for urgent, science-based conservation and management efforts to prevent further declines and facilitate recovery of this species. However, essential information about the stock structure and migration patterns of this species that is required for such efforts is almost non-existent.

The Project

To facilitate conservation and management efforts for oceanic whitetip sharks, the Guy Harvey Research Institute / Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and their project partners are using integrative approaches to investigate the population connectivity of this species. We are studying the stock structure of oceanic whitetip sharks on a global scale by using genetic techniques, and migration patterns of this species in the western Atlantic with the aid of satellite tracking technologies.

Please click on the link below to follow the movements of oceanic whitetip sharks we tagged off Grand Cayman Island in May 2011.