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Monterey Bay Aquarium addresses your concerns about the shark

June 27, 2008 |  1:12 pm

Moving_to_monterey Here's Ken Peterson, of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, with a few words about the shark:

All of the white sharks are returned to the wild, carrying tracking tags to help fill the considerable gaps in our understanding of where these threatened animals spend their time (and therefore, where they may be in need of additional protection).

We and our research partners have placed tracking tags on 15 young white sharks since 2002, plus tagging the three animals that have been on exhibit at the aquarium for up to six months. The tag on the most recent animal just popped free halfway up the Sea of Cortez, adding significantly to our knowledge of their range.

More than a million people have seen a white shark in person at the aquarium, and we have contributed more than $1.2 million to field studies of juvenile and adult white sharks since our research program began in 2002. We've also found, in surveying visitors, that people who see a white shark in person come away with stronger attitudes supporting shark conservation.

The only money fishermen receive is to compensate them for the fishing time they lose so they can check their gear more frequently, hold a shark until our university research partners can get measurements, take blood samples and fit the sharks with tracking tags, and the time and fuel it takes if we ask them to bring a shark to the holding pen in Malibu.

Read the details of the program here. (The photo is last year's shark being moved to its transport tank.) For details on what the shark did after it was released from the aquarium this year, click here.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation / Ken Peterson