Collaborating to conserve a species

Vamizi Island shark tagging season saw the start of our very first (OWB) research project…

Vamizi Island shark tagging season, 29 August to 11 September, saw the start of our very first Oceans Without Borders (OWB) research project.

This was a collaboration of expertise, with Dr Isabel Marques da Silva and João Macuio (Universidad Lúrio), Danielle Orrell and Dr Nigel Hussey (Windsor University) and Dr Ryan Daly.

A total of 7 sharks were tagged: 6 grey reef sharks (5 female; 1 male) and 1 hammerhead shark (female).  All sharks were tagged with internal acoustic tags and Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI) tags, while 3 of the grey reefs also had satellite tags fitted.

The acoustic tags, which are attached to the dorsal fin, use specific frequency and transmitting patterns to identify different individuals when they pass within range of an underwater receiver. As part of this project, all 4 existing acoustic tag receivers were serviced, data downloaded, batteries changed and moorings reinforced, with 2 new receiver moorings and stations installed on Vamizi reefs.

The satellite tags work a little differently. These units collect and store data, and self-detach after a set period of time, floating to the surface, where the data is then transmitted to a satellite.

These devices provide a range of invaluable information for monitoring and research, movement patterns, social connections, breeding habits, as well as depth and swimming speed, and are integral to all research and conservation endeavours.

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