MSNBC is reporting that the results of the first successful satellite tracking of great hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna mokarran) followed a single shark over a 62-days journey. The great hammerhead was tagged in the waters of southern Florida as part of an effort by Neil Hammerschlag and colleagues who are tracking tropical sharks in an attempt document migration patterns.
Over the course of the great hammerhead shark’s 62-day journey, Hammerschlag told MSNBC that the shark had traveled 745 miles (as the crow flies). The shark swam from the waters of southern Florida to the coastal waters of New Jersey.
Scientific data about the great hammerhead is scarce, but this latest study will hopefully provide more insight into the migratory behavior of the species and help researchers to identify key geographic locations where the sharks migrate for feeding, mating, and giving birth.
The evidence that great hammerhead sharks are capable of traveling such large distances in a relatively short time also indicates that the species could potentially be migrating into international waters making to susceptible to illegal fishing. Hammerschlag hopes that this research will help provide information that can be used to assist with conservation efforts aimed at protecting and managing great hammerhead sharks.