SHARKS’ travel habits are the subject of a study being led by a marine biologist at Texas A&M University at Galveston.
This month, David Wells, an assistant professor of marine biology at the TAMUG campus, and a group of his graduate students are spending 20 days attaching satellite tags to sharks to record their movements throughout the Gulf Of Mexico.
By the time their project ends, they hope to have tagged at least 20 to 30 sharks, which they will study for up to two years, analyzing the data recorded by the tags.
Wells said last week that the data will include the sharks’ location and preferred temperature and depth preferences in areas 100 miles offshore between Corpus Christi and New Orleans.
He said his ultimate goal is to have the biggest sample size possible for the study and he is aiming to tag 50 scalloped hammerhead, above, tiger and shortfin mako sharks.
His team is focusing on those species because of a shortage of information about their way of life. It will try to determine where the sharks move and why by concentrating on their feeding habits and the environmental and oceanographic features that affect their lives.
“There are still a lot of things we don’t know about sharks in the Gulf,” Wells said last week. “This includes their general movement patterns and how these patterns are linked to oceanographic features, along with an integration of their feeding habits, which likely plays a large role on overall movement.
“Each tagged shark will have a sensor on it that will relay back the critical data we need to study them.”
Other research groups involved in the project are Harte Research Institute, which studies the Gulf from A&M’s Corpus Christi campus, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Mote Marine Lab and University Of North Florida.
So long, farewell
TODAY’S Gumphrey’s Gaze will be the last as I will be leaving The Post Newspaper on Friday for pastures new.
It has been my privilege to bring you the latest information on Texas’ outdoors, its wildlife and the state’s environment. I encourage you to continually search out new information about what’s happening in the environment, in nature and beyond.
I encourage you to keep getting outdoors, whether it be kayaking through the countless miles of waterways in Galveston County or taking a road trip beyond our humble region to hike up a mountain or trek through a forest.
Whatever you do, make sure you get outdoors and see nature for what it is – the best part of our Earth.
Diligently support the environment and Mother Nature by writing to the politicians who represent you about any thing, action or legislation that threatens our planet.
The planet belongs to all of us; let’s not let it fall to ruin.