Posted on | August 18, 2011 | Comments Off
An international team of researchers, conservationists, commercial dive operators and government agencies has joined together to deploy and operate an array of acoustic devices to monitor the movement of sharks in the waters of Palau. This array, the first of its kind in the waters of Micronesia, supports Palau’s world-leading effort to conserve and protect sharks within the whole of their Exclusive Economic Zone.
Initially established by the Micronesian Shark Foundation, the Save Our Seas Foundation and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the 14-station array has recently undergone an expansion with funding from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, through the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System. PacIOOS is a program led by Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology.
The PacIOOS investment is targeted at increasing the density and geographic range of stations—providing a more precise and complete picture of shark movement in the Palauan archipelago.
“Sharks are a sentinel species in the global ocean and are important for ensuring the health of all ocean species in the future,” says PacIOOS Director Christopher E. Ostrander. “Shark populations worldwide are threatened by increasing illegal fin fishing and a shifting climate. The Government of Palau’s dedication to conserving shark populations in their waters is an extraordinary step to helping shark populations recover and we are pleased to be able to assist, with our partners, in providing necessary information on shark movement, migration and mating.”