Newswise — FORT LAUDERDALE/DAVIE, Fla. – Not freezing temperatures or nor’easters or Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose or Maria can stop “Andy,” a tiger shark tagged in Bermuda by scientists from Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) in 2014. Travelling approximately 37,565 miles off the eastern coast of the United States and around Bermuda, the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, Andy is now the longest tracked tiger shark on record and shows no sign of slowing down. He’s been going for more than 1,240 days.
“We are delighted with how long Andy has reported data, which has tremendous value for us as researchers,” said Mahmood Shivji, Ph.D., the director of NSU’s GHRI and a professor in the university’s Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography. “ This amazing, nearly three and a half year track is revealing clear repeated patterns in the shark’s migrations between summer and winter.”
More than 150 sharks, including tigers, makos and oceanic whitetips, have been tagged by the GHRI in the last decade. The data collected is used to study the migration patterns of these incredible creatures. Andy and many other GHRI tagged sharks can be followed online in near real-time at nova.edu/sharktracking.
“Tracking the migration patterns of sharks, like Andy, for extended periods of time allow us to better understand their behavior and habitat utilization, resulting in better knowledge on how to manage the species,” said world renowned artist and Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) Chairman Guy Harvey, Ph.D.
According to a paper published in the most recent ICES Journal of Marine Science by Shivji and his colleagues, tiger shark migrations are heavily influenced by a shark’s physical characteristics (i.e. size, age) and environmental variations (i.e. water temperature, prey availability). This study, funded by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, NSU’s GHRI, the Shark Foundation (Hai Stiftung) and the Bermuda Shark Project, reveals not only the environmental factors driving these massive migrations by tiger sharks but also highlights how the different age groups behave. This information could prompt fisheries managers to reevaluate how best to protect this near-threatened species.
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About Nova Southeastern University (NSU): Located in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida, NSU is ranked among US News & World Report’s Top 200 National Research Universities and is a dynamic, private research university providing high-quality educational and research programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and first-professional degree levels. Established in 1964, NSU now includes 16 colleges, the 215,000-square-foot Center for Collaborative Research, a private JK-12 grade school, the Mailman Segal Center for Human Development with specialists in Autism, the world-class NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, and the Alvin Sherman Library, Research and Information Technology Center, which is Florida’s largest public library. NSU has campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa, Florida, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico, while maintaining a presence online globally. Classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is one of only 50 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification, and is also the largest private institution in the United States that meets the U.S. Department of Education’s criteria as a Hispanic-serving Institution. Please visit www.nova.edu for more information about NSU and realizingpotential.nova.edu for more information on the largest fundraising campaign in NSU history.
About the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation: The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) conducts scientific research and hosts educational programs aimed at conserving the marine environment. The GHOF also funds affiliated researchers working to better understand our ocean ecosystem and educators helping to foster the next era of marine conservationists. The GHOF will help ensure that future generations can enjoy and benefit from a properly balanced ocean ecosystem. For more information, please visit www.GHOF.org.
About NSU’s Guy Harvey Research Institute: Established in 1999, the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) is a collaboration between the renowned marine artist, scientist and explorer, Dr. Guy Harvey, and Nova Southeastern University. The mission of NSU’s GHRI is to provide the scientific information necessary to understand, conserve, and effectively manage the world’s marine fishes and their ecosystems. The institute is one of only a handful of private organizations dedicated exclusively to the science-based conservation of marine fish populations and biodiversity. The research, education and outreach activities of NSU’s GHRI are supported by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, AFTCO Inc., extramural research grants, philanthropic donations by private businesses and individuals, and NSU. Please visit http://cnso.nova.edu/ghri for more information.