Live Shark Tracking Map
FishTrack has recently implemented a tagging program to better understand the behaviors and migratory patterns of Shortfin Mako sharks off the California coast.
Tracking Mako Sharks
With the assistance of scientists at the National Fisheries Service two Shortfin Makos were tagged at the beginning of July, 2012 and an additional two Shortfin Makos were tagged at the beginning of July 2013. These sharks were tagged using the latest generation of compact fin-mount satellite transmitters which have the ability to transmit precise, near real-time data whenever the sharks are finning on the surface.
As mako sharks generally spend a portion of each day at the surface they are perfect for providing daily satellite positioning data. These tags are set up to transmit every other day for up to two years (depending on the battery life of the satellite tag). The data we gather is shared with the National Fisheries Service to add to their current Mako tagging dataset, and will help create a more comprehensive picture of the movements and migration patterns of the short-fin mako in the Eastern-Pacific region.
In the past makos tagged in California with conventional tags have been recovered near Japan, and sharks tagged with satellite tags have travelled into the Sea of Cortez and locations South East of Hawaii. Much has yet to be learned about these top predators, and despite being a target of sport and commercial fisheries very little is known about the health of the stock, pupping grounds and migratory habits. It will be very exciting to see where these sharks travel over the next two years!