Ocearch Using GPS Tracking to Conduct Shark Tracking Expedition

29 Sep 2016

If lions are the kings of the jungle, then sharks are the undisputed kings of the sea. Ocearch is an organization that seeks to learn more about sharks. One recent project involves the great white species in particular.

This project is located in the waters just outside of Montauk, New York. These waters are believed to be popular areas where great whites go to give birth. As a result, there are many young sharks swimming in these waters.

Ocearch’s mission is to learn as much as possible about these sharks because they play such a critical role in keeping the ocean’s delicate ecosystem in balance. The current mission involves multiple steps with the purpose of gathering data that can be used by scientists in various fields to discover important details about the sharks and their habits.

Because the sharks are such a mystery, GPS tracking technology provides a somewhat unique glimpse into where they go, what they do, and perhaps what motivates or drives them. All that needs to happen for the collection of the GPS data is for the shark to surface long enough for the tracking devices to sync with the satellites that retrieve the information.

Among the information Ocearch hopes to unlock about the great white sharks are information about the areas where they feed, breed, and give birth; migratory pathways; and areas where human contact with sharks is possible – even likely.

In addition to the GPS tracking, Ocearch takes blood samples from the sharks in hopes of gathering information about hormone levels (particularly as they related to reproduction), stress levels when captured, and information about foods and contaminates sharks ingest.

Live parasites are also collected from the sharks for comparisons, identification, and for study. The project seeks to learn as much as possible about these animals that are so widely feared and revered by humans and ocean animals alike. Ocearch believes new understanding of the species may unlock the doors to a world of new discoveries that will benefit everyone.

GPS tracking technology is opening so many doors for research, convenience, and profit. This is just one of the many ways it can be used for the purpose of gaining critical data about a species that has been such a mystery to man for so very long.



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