Galapagos: Scientists track the habits of young sharks

Biologist returns a shark to the sea, after placing a tracking device on it in Puerto Ayora, Galapagos, on February 20, 2021. – Photo: Courtesy of the Galapagos National Park

22 Feb 2021 – 0:05

The Galapagos National Park technicians have a program to observe the breeding of sharks in areas known as “seed beds.”

The Directorate of the Galapagos National Park is interested in knowing the habits of sharks of the black tip species. For this reason, its park rangers carry out a program to monitor this species.

The project is concentrated in an area known as Academia Bay in Puerto Ayora. Sharks in this area become adults within two years.

After that, the sharks go on a trip to the open water.

The specialists want to know the “recruitment index” of sharks in Academy Bay, that is, how many specimens live there, safe from predators and within the marine reserve.

Galapagos National Park personnel place a tracking device on a juvenile shark on February 20, 2021.  Courtesy

How is monitoring done?

The work includes the taking of biological data in situ. With a net, the shark is briefly captured to be weighed and coded.

This makes it possible to track the shark’s travel patterns. The procedure takes about two minutes.

“We carry out this activity to be able to conserve this species and have data and exact information on the abundance of the populations in Galapagos,” says Harry Reyes, director of the Park’s Ecosystems area.

In total, two marks are placed. An external one on the dorsal fin, which allows visual identification. The other is fixed on the back of the animal; it is a code to be read by the scanner in future recaptures.

This activity has been carried out periodically since 2006 and has allowed the technicians and scientists of the Galapagos National Park to collect data on the growth rate, the size at which the shark leaves the breeding areas, and population growth.

Read the original coverage from Primicias at

Read additional coverage from El Telegrafo at

Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021

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