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Climate Adaptation

Protecting Sharks Starts With Knowing Where They Are

A group of scientists and non-profits are collecting data to outline a protected zone in the Caribbean.

By studying local shark populations, habitats, and migration patterns, researchers will be able to devise evidence-based recommendations for protecting these species.

By studying local shark populations, habitats, and migration patterns, researchers will be able to devise evidence-based recommendations for protecting these species.

Source: Wilson Haynes for Beneath the Waves

One day earlier this summer, Tadzio Bervoets stood on the bow of a boat idling just off the shore of West Caicos, preparing to tag the last shark of the day. He took a moment to center himself before gripping a GoPro camera in his mouth to document the process he calls “walking the dog.”

Armed with leggings, knee pads and orange rubber gloves, he slowly reeled in an 8-foot male lemon shark clinging to a baited circle hook. As the animal surfaced, Bervoets guided it gently towards the boat’s hull, pausing now and then to let the animal thrash and tire itself out. Within just a few minutes, the shark calmed, allowing itself to be secured to the side of the vessel by two more researchers, who looped ropes around its tail and midsection while Bervoets massaged its snout to help it relax.