A shark nursery has been found in Long Island’s Great South Bay, by scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York. Although you are now imagining a picture from a horror movie, this shark species is not harmful.
Researchers spent four years studying the sand tiger shark and have discovered that it is not an aggressive fish. These sharks are born far in the south, but they migrate at young ages in the north of New York. Sharks with ages varying between a few months old and a few years old are migrating in the summer in this area. They migrate back home in the fall, and until then stay in this area that is protected from larger and more aggressive predators.
The sand tiger shark is also called the grey nurse shark, the blue nurse sand tiger and the spotted ragged tooth shark. This shark species lives in the temperate and subtropical waters from around the world. Despite its name, the sand tiger shark is related to the great white shark, not to the tiger shark. Even though it has a fearsome aspect, the shark moves slowly and no cases of this shark ever hurting a human have been registered. This shark can reach 10.5 feet long.
Few tiger sharks have been identified in the course of time. In order to find the exact location of their nursery, researchers from New York’s Aquarium tagged the sharks and tracked them. The aquarium started to think that there is a nursery somewhere close to New York, when a young sand tiger shark was found dead in the area. The aquarium got a photo and when they went to investigate, the locals said that sharks have been caught in that area for a long time. The team of researchers then decided to make a research and caught some of the sharks, releasing them after they have been attached acoustic transmitters.
The director of the aquarium, Jon Dohlin, said that their discoveries are extremely important, as they give information on the sand tiger shark’s behavior,migration periods and habitat. This species has been protected by the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service since 1997. Not only there are few of these sharks, but the females only give birth every two years, to maximum two pups.
As the shark nursery has been found in Long Island’s Great South Bay, changes will be made in order to ensure better protection for the sand tiger sharks. Dohlin said that the inhabitants of New York need to be reminded that there is an entire marine ecosystem close by and that this should motivate them to be more ethical towards the ecosystem and the ocean.
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