In research that will be extremely important in continuing to promote the growth of the white shark species, it is finally known where great whites spend their time and migrate in the North Atlantic. The research reveals that baby great white sharks can be found along the Atlantic coast of the US, all the way from New Jersey to Long Island.
The research was led by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Florida Atlantic University – where they managed to successfully tag 10 baby great white sharks with both satellite trackers and acoustic tags, allowing them to follow their journeys in multiple ways.
The baby whites spent the beginning of their life on the southeastern shores of Long Island from August to October where shallow waters helped the sharks evade predators. Once they grew big enough, the sharks moved south near the Carolina’s shelf waters for the winter. By spring, the sharks moved back up to the waters around Long Island.
The paper is really the first description of the movements and seasonal migrations of juvenile white sharks in the North Atlantic and provides a break through in research. With this research, we can continue to build on protecting the small predators from threats such as overfishing, pollution, and climate change. As an apex predator in the ocean, sustaining a healthy population of white sharks is pivotal to ensuring the overall health of the ocean. Without them, the food chain and ecosystem would break resulting in the future loss of even more species.
Our understanding of the great white pups should only continue to increase as the team point out that the acoustic tags have a battery life of 10 years, and this study demonstrates that we can use this tech to observe how great white sharks grow and change over time, and assess how different life stages affect their behavior.