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Shark Tagging Update

3 October 2023

Press Release

During last week's fieldwork at Pillar Bay, five Galapagos and two Silky sharks were effectively tagged. This effort raises the tally of sharks sampled this year to 101, comprising 69 Galapagos and 32 Silkys.

Tagging these marine creatures enhances the understanding of their behaviour and migratory patterns. Recognizing their movements is pivotal for Ascension's island community. Given the previous close encounters of people with sharks during activities such as fishing, swimming, and snorkelling, this knowledge is a key safety measure. A deeper understanding of the sharks can foster strategies that ensure the well-being of both people and sharks.

Later this year, project partners from the Zoological Society of London are scheduled to visit and assist in retrieving 30 acoustic receivers stationed around Ascension's coastline. These devices are expected to provide a year's worth of data, detailing the movements of 32 acoustically tagged sharks.

During the tagging process, biological samples, including fin clips and blood, are taken in conjunction with physical measurements like length and girth. These samples will provide information on genetics, health, reproductive cycles and food web dynamics.