Sharks of the New York BightLatest update September 1, 2018 Started on September 1, 2018
The phrase “New York sharks” may, for some, conjuer up an image of overzealous lawyers. What many people don’t realize is that there are actual sharks plying the waters off the coast of New York. In fact, about 40 species of sharks, skates, and rays call New York home and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Seascape program is studying the movements, habitats, and conservation needs of some of these species in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The WCS New York Seascape program has been conducting research on the migration, movements, and habitat use of a variety of shark species in New York’s waters since 2012. We use acoustic tags to track juvenile sand tiger sharks on their nursery grounds, satellite tags to track shortfin mako, blue sharks, and other species on their annual migrations throughout the northwest Atlantic, and now we will add Trident Underwater Drones to our high-tech toolbox. Using these Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs), we will observe underwater natural and post-tagging behaviors, characterize preferred habitats, and potentially identify prey species. We will also test the potential of using these ROVs as a tool to identify individual sand tiger sharks by looking at the pattern of spots that cover their bodies. Our videos will also help build public awareness and support for shark conservation in some of the busiest waters in the world.
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