Peter Klimley aka ‘Dr. Hammerhead’ on shark superhighways

Hammerhead sharks have been found to follow ‘superhighways’ in the sea.

That’s according to shark researcher Peter Klimley of UC Davis, known as ‘Dr. Hammerhead.’ Klimley and his colleagues placed electronic tracking tags on sharks, starting at the Galapagos islands.

Peter Klimley: We have these listening devices stationed around these islands. You can determine how long they stay, because every time they pass that listening device it says, ‘Harry the scalloped hammerhead shark has just passed.’

Klimley said that over over 200 sharks have been tagged and tracked.

Peter Klimley: We do have results indicating that sharks stay at islands like Wolf Island and Darwin Island for periods of six months to a year, and then they move.

The sharks swim along a 700-kilometer corridor, said Klimley, north to Cocos island in about 15 days

Peter Klimley: And so we need to protect them at these islands. That’s where they’re particularly vulnerable.

Klimley added that it’s in people’s best interest to protect sharks all over the world because of their value to ecotourism.

Peter Klimley: Off the west coast of Baja, people from all over the world come to see white sharks, at Guadalupe Island, and they get into a cage and they look at them, and they identify them, and work with the scientists to learn more about them. So it’s added a whole other dimension to diving. It’s no longer that people say, ‘ah, there are sharks in the water, people run out of the water.’ It’s now that people run in the water to see them.

Our thanks to:
Peter Klimley
University of California
Davis, CA

August 15, 2008

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