It’s finally happening! After over a year of corona-related delays the Pregnant Tiger Shark Expedition is finally underway. We just finished our very first day of tagging and, if I may say so, we started off with a bang. After a full day of tagging, we caught a total of 15 sharks: 14 reef sharks and one lucky (or unlucky, depending on your perspective) female tiger shark.
But, before we continue, let’s do some introductions. Over the next few days various expedition members will be writing some posts to update you on how the expedition is going, where we are, what we are doing, and what we hope to accomplish. I get the dubious honour of going first, so let’s set the bar high.
My name is Roxanne-Liana Francisca, but everyone calls me Rox. I work for STINAPA Bonaire as a Wildlife and Marine Biologist. For this expedition I will be one of the people ensuring that the data we are collecting is properly entered, tagged, and stored. Remember, it’s not science if you don’t write it down!
As the name of the expedition implies, we are heading to the Saba Bank to hopefully catch and tag some pregnant tiger sharks. Tiger sharks are a highly migratory species and have been known to cover vast distances. One of the sharks tagged in 2016 by the St. Maarten Nature Foundation, also joining on the expedition, was first tagged and released in St. Maarten and then picked up by the satellite tag all the way in Trinidad. Hopefully through this expedition, and the data we will gather, we will get a better idea of the migratory patterns of these sharks, and where they give birth, enabling us to better protect them.
Our team is made up of 20 people. This includes members of nature management organizations from 5 of the Dutch Caribbean islands. We have with us Aruba National Parks Foundation (FPNA), STINAPA Bonaire, Nature Foundation St. Maarten, St. Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA),the Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF), as well as representatives of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA), University of Groningen, Arizona State University, and World Wide Fund for Nature – The Netherlands(WWF-NL) who facilitated the necessary funds to realize this expedition.
Keep following us on DCNA’s website, Facebook (Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance), Instagram (dcnanature) for daily updates!
Article published in the Special Edition BioNews: Tiger Shark Expedition