Satellite tracking system shows sharks swim to Sargossa Sea to give birth
In the deep, clear waters of the Sargasso Sea just by the Bermuda Triangle, chunky porbeagle sharks are giving birth.
“In the fish world this is pretty exciting news," marine biologist and shark expert Steve Campana said Thursday.
It’s exciting because until now researchers didn’t know where this smaller relative of the great white shark delivered its pups.
“We’ve been trying to find this out for 10 years," Mr. Campana said.
Porbeagle sharks are caught off Nova Scotia where Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the shark fishing industry are trying to rebuild declining populations, Mr. Campana said.
Shark populations around the world are crashing due to the intense level of fishing created by the demand for shark steak in Europe and cartilages and fins in places like the Orient.
The porbeagle population hasn’t fully recovered from some hard fishing in the 1960s that depleted its numbers, the scientist said. Knowing more about it would help scientists regulate the shark fishery better.
The porbeagle weighs about 200 kilograms and measures about 2.5 metres in length. Scientists knew females were getting pregnant in Canadian waters and carrying their embryos for nine months before heading offshore to deliver up to four pups each. They just didn’t know where they were going.
“We finally got our answer," said Mr. Campana.
They found out by tagging female porbeagle sharks and following their movements with a satellite tracking system.
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