Shark Tracking – a valuable conservation tool | November 6th, 2008

The Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Foundation together with Conservation International (CI) and WWF, with the technical assistance of a researchers group from Davis University in California have been working on tagging sharks within the Galapagos Marine Reserve in order to establish their migration patterns within the archipelago and with other locations or shark ‘hot spots’ in the region.

The project tagged over 100 hammerhead and Galapagos sharks, mainly on Darwin and Wolf islands. One hammerhead tagged in Galapagos has been recorded as traveling to Cocos Island off Costa Rica and  Malpelo Island off  Colombia, both more than 1000km to the north of Galapagos.  This helps to show the importance of regional conservation efforts, as work in Galapagos will come to naught if sharks are not protected in these other locations.

Sharks are a top predator in the oceans and the health of the seas around Galapagos depends upon there being a healthy shark population. The chief threat to sharks is fishermen who catch them for their fins for which there is a big demand in China and other Asian markets.