Latest shark nursery news

The Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR) is home to the highest concentration of sharks in the world, including critically endangered scalloped hammerhead sharks. It also provides crucial pupping grounds for species such as blacktip sharks. These sharks, however, are under threat. It is thought that 100 million sharks are killed globally each year. Many of these are caught either deliberately, usually for their fins, or as incidental bycatch by the fishing industry.

Introduction

As part of our Endangered Sharks of Galapagos programme, we are working to protect shark nursery sites around San Cristobal island for blacktip and scalloped hammerhead sharks. By identifying key pupping sites and improving our understanding of how they are used, the project team can then work with the authorities and local fishers to protect them from fishing and tourism activities.

Latest update

Earlier this year and using GCT funds, a new local Shark and Ray graduate assistant, Daniel Armijos, joined the shark nursery team. He was able to get stuck right in by joining a short field trip in early March, learning the techniques to catch and handle juvenile sharks. The team found plenty of juveniles – in one net alone they caught over 20 baby scalloped hammerheads! Daniel was also able to familiarise himself with flying a drone and helped to deploy drop cameras and BRUVs.

Using these techniques, he then had the opportunity to undertake surveys of eight locations around San Cristobal using drones and drop cameras, looking for new nursery sites.

Having Daniel on the team means that they can push ahead with more BRUVs surveys over the next few months.

Here are some of the highlights from the trip:

Daniel Armijos flying a drone © Diana Pazmino

Daniel Armijos learning to fly a drone © Diana Pazmino

 

Remote camera image of a juvenile shark

Drop camera image of a juvenile scalloped hammerhead shark © Alex Hearn

 

Measuring juvenile shark

Daniel learning how to measure a juvenile shark © Alex Hearn

 

Snorkelling Looking for juvenile sharks

Looking for juvenile sharks © Alex Hearn

How can you help?

Please help us conserve the endangered sharks of Galapagos today by giving a donation, adopting a hammerhead shark or joining up as a GCT member.