Shark Research

Mission Statement:

Practicing Modern noninvasive methods of monitoring, documenting and observing and observing local shark populations, interspecies dynamics (social cooperatives) and interactions with conspecifics (pinnipeds, cetaceans, fish, birds) in a way that can be shared with the public and benefit a global community. 

HOW: Returning as often as possible (preferably multiple times per day, weather permitting) to natural shark distributions (aggregate sites) reflecting regional variation by species, gender, individual, pack or schooling shark movements over pelagic drop offs where natural upwelling of nutrients and water currents attract marine biota. Locale based on bathymetric modeling and acoustical telemetry to regulate the presence of humans in the natural environment, maximize the collection of data and minimize behavioral impact.

Current Projects:

PHOTO ID: 200+ individually documented multi species shark bank for comparing time/seasonal movements, distinguished behaviors, status of dominance by cataloging and updating photos of unique scars, markings, hooks, notches on right, left and top side of each animal. Focus on dorsal fins of nomadic and resident Tiger populations.

SEASONAL MIGRATION PATTERNS: presence of individuals, packs or schools correlated to abiotic weather variants (air temperature, water temperature, pressure systems, moon phase, swell, wind, sunrise/sunset and location).

POPULATION DYNAMICS: monitoring local population status of multiple species. Unfortunately Sandbar and Galapagos are in small decline,  along with decline in Tiger populations. There is near disseverance of Silky, Oceanic BlackTip, Blue and White Shark populations.

BEHAVIORAL STUDIES: tracking and documenting Agonistic displays among competitive or assertive sharks to avoid negative shark/human interaction through peaceful observation (chasing, following, parallel swimming, pectoral dropping, dorsal arching, jaw gaping, checking, gill popping).

Ongoing Research:

  • DropCam: in water camera, behavioral tool
  • DropRig: bottom camera (hosted by Keiko Conservation)
  • GreenLaser: implementing standardized tool of measurement for accurate body size of sharks (FL, TL, TCL) in water observation
  • Shark deterrents: electronic based product testing, surfboard and scuba models with GoPro, Anthony Walsh, Tom Carroll, ongoing testing and product development