Isla del Coco Sharks Will Carry Satellite Tags

July 22, 2005

SHARK researchers on Saturday traveledto Isla del Coco, a Costa Rican island532 kilometers off the country’s Pacificcoast, to attach satellite tags to whalesharks and radio transmitters to hammerheadsharks, according to a statementfrom the Marine Turtle RestorationProgram (PRETOMA), a San José-basednonprofit organization.The information transmitted by thesetags will enable biologists to determinethe migratory paths of whale sharks andfind out if hammerheads live in the vicinityof the island, said the statement.“The data collected in this project willbe of extreme importance in understandingthe behavior (of sharks) and shark populationsof the island,” said Alex Antoniou,director of the Shark Research Institute(SRI) of New Jersey, in the United States,who is heading the investigation.PRETOMA president Randall Arauzsaid, “This data will assist us in the creationof management plans for the conservationand sustainable use of sharks.”Their July 16 trip is the first of aseries of shark-tagging trips that will takeplace for two years as part of the project,the statement said.The United Nations Educational,Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) declared Isla del Coco aWorld Heritage Site in 1997. The island,declared a National Park in 1978, isrenown for its rich biodiversity, whichincludes a large variety of sharkspecies.

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