Expedition Jacksonville, FL
February 23, 2013 – March 11, 201 (end date subject to weather and other conditions)
I. Movements of White Sharks in the Atlantic Ocean
The objective of the proposed study is to examine Iine-‐ and broad-‐scale movements, habitat use, site Iidelity, residency, and feeding behavior of white sharks in southern New England and along the east coast of the US using multiple technologies including passive acoustic telemetry and satellite-‐based tagging. During 2013, we propose to tag 10 white sharks off the coast of Florida with individually-‐coded acoustic transmitters, as well as pop-‐up satellite (PSAT) and real-‐time (SPOT) tags. Shark movements and behavior will be passively tracked using acoustic receiver arrays.
II. The Physiological Effects of Capture Stress in the White Shark
Given the importance of white shark post-‐release survivorship to population growth, a detailed assessment of the physical and physiological effects of capture and their subsequent impacts on survivorship is warranted. The objectives of the current study are to: (1) quantify relative acid-‐base, electrolyte, and metabolite disturbances in the blood of white sharks exposed to capture, air exposure, and handling; (2) examine immediate and delayed post-‐release mortality with satellite tracking; and (3) characterize post-‐ release recovery in this species using accelerometry.
III. Fine-Scale Behavior and Post-Release Recovery in White Sharks
We will attach accelerometer data-‐loggers (ADLs) to each shark to record their Iine-‐scale swimming behavior and to document how quickly they recover after tagging. ADLs use the same technology found in iPhones and videogame controllers to record the animal’s body movements and posture at second-‐by-‐ second intervals, providing a detailed representation of what the animal is doing and how strongly it is swimming. Because these tags record so much information (over two million data points per day), they store their data to memory and are released and recovered within days after tagging. Each tag can therefore be downloaded and re-‐used on multiple animals. Resulting data will be added to, and compared with, those obtained during the Cape Cod studies of September 2012.
IV. Environmental Contaminants Endangering White Sharks
As apex predators, there is great risk of environmental chemicals affecting the health and viability of white sharks, due to the types of prey that white sharks eat and the bioaccumulation of contaminants up the food web. We will assess the body burdens of key contaminants in up to 12 sharks to understand the risk these pollutants pose for the white shark population of the U.S. east coast. Blood samples will be taken to analyze for the following: (1) persistent organic pollutants (PCBs, PBDEs, OCPs); (2) petroleum contaminants (PAHs); and (3) mercury. Lab analyses will be run in Mote’s Environmental Laboratory of Forensics; the mercury samples will be assayed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
1. GUADALUPE ISLAND – December 2007
2. GUADALUPE ISLAND – December 2008
3. SHARED OFFSHORE FORAGING AREA – June 2009
4. MALIBU, CA – September 2009
5. FARALLON ISLANDS – October 2009
6. GUADALUPE ISLAND – November 2009
7. SEA OF CORTEZ – May 2012
8. SEA OF CORTEZ – September 2010
9. REVILLAGIGEDOS – November 2010
10. COCOS – January 2011
11. BOCA GRAND – May 18-28, 2011
12. BOCA GRAND PASS – July 1-3, 2011
13. SOUTH AFRICA 1 – March 5-25, 2012
14. SOUTH AFRICA 2 – April 10 –May 23, 2012
15. CAPE COD, MASSACHUSETTS – September 5 –September 20, 2012
16. JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – February 23 – March 10, 2013