July 19, 2006 – San Jose, Costa Rica
Shark research continued at Cocos Island, Costa Rica from July 3-15, when 16 divers and researchers from Costa Rica, the UK and the US tagged 15 hammerhead sharks.  Five sharks were tagged with satellite tags to determine regional migration routes, while 10 others were tagged with acoustic radio transmitters to study the movements of these sharks around the island.  Two additional radio receivers were placed underwater, bringing the number of radio receivers to four.

The trip was the fourth in a series of seven for a project that was initiated in July 2004 and will last through November 2007, as part of a joint research project between the Shark Research Institute (US) and PRETOMA (Costa Rica).  This trip in particular was supported by the Joint Services Expedition Trust Committee (UK) and the Royal Geographic Society (UK).  The 10-day trip and dives to tag sharks are coordinated by the Costa Rican dive company Undersea Hunter.  Next trips are scheduled for November 2006, July 2007 and November 2007.

Two of the satellite tags are programmed to collect data for 4 months, two for two months and one for 10 days.  The 10 other hammerheads tagged with acoustic radio transmitters are expected to transmit for one year.  All the sharks tagged were adult females measuring between 3 and 4 meters, and were tagged at depths ranging from 20 and 35 meters.

“Cocos Island is one of the most important habitats for sharks in the world,” states Randall Arauz, President of PRETIOMA.  “Determining sharks’ movements around the island as well as where they are migrating, will help in creating policies to protect sharks and foster the development of sustainable fisheries of this important resource.”

Photos (please credit each photo with the name after each link):
http://www.tortugamarina.org/downloads/andyreid1.jpg (Andy Reid)
http://www.tortugamarina.org/downloads/andyreid2.jpg (Andy Reid)

http://www.tortugamarina.org/downloads/andyreid3.jpg (Andy Reid)
http://www.tortugamarina.org/downloads/andyreid4.jpg (Andy Reid)
http://www.tortugamarina.org/downloads/kennymcdonaldcocos002.jpg (Kenny McDonald)
http://www.tortugamarina.org/downloads/kennymcdonaldcocos028.jpg (Kenny McDonald)
http://www.tortugamarina.org/downloads/marktillyard.jpg (Mark Tillyard)
http://www.tortugamarina.org/downloads/marktillyard2.jpg (Mark Tillyard)

For a preliminary report of results:
http://www.tortugamarina.org/downloads/arauzantoniouabstract.pdf

Also check the Joint Services Expedition website for details of this last trip:
www.jurassic-shark.org.uk

CONTACT: Randall Arauz
TEL:  +(506) 236-0886
FAX:  +(506) 236-6017
info@tortugamarina.org

PRETOMA (Programa Restauración de Tortugas Marinas) is a Costa Rican non-profit, non-governmental, marine conservation organization that works to promote sustainable fisheries and protect sea turtles, sharks and marine biodiversity.  PRETOMA is a member of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals) and FECON (Costa Rican Conservation Federation). 

SHARK RESEARCH INSTITUTE (SRI), a multi-disciplinary non-profit 501(c)(3) scientific research organization, was created to sponsor and conduct research on sharks and promote the conservation of sharks. Founded in 1991 at Princeton, New Jersey, USA, SRI has field offices in Canada, the Galapagos Islands, Honduras, Mexico, South Africa and the Seychelles.  A new data collecting site has been established in Australia.  www.sharks.org

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    July 19, 2006 – San Jose, Costa Rica Shark research continued at Cocos Island, Costa Rica from July 3-15, when 16 divers and researchers from Costa Rica, the UK and the US tagged 15 hammerhead sharks.  Five sharks were tagged with satellite tags ...