The Cayman News Service reported that three tiger sharks that were tagged almost a year ago in waters off the Cayman Islands have returned having roamed the wide waters of the Caribbean. The original tagging project was a joint effort between the Department of Environment (DoE), Marine Conservation International (MCI), the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) at Nova Southeastern University and the Save Our Seas Foundation.
The three sharks were tagged with satellite tags which can provide a variety of data in addition to basic positioning information. One of the three sharks spent a great deal of time cruising the coast of Jamaica; another has been in deep waters off the Cayman Islands; while the third shark spent the summer in the southwest, off Honduras and Nicaragua.
While not necessarily covering the same long "point A to point B" distances that have been reported with sharks like great white sharks and whale sharks, the data does show that the sharks can cover a considerable amount of territory and that these movements might constitute "migrations" if there is a schedule or pattern to their journeys.
Being able to verify that sharks frequent the Cayman Islands via migratory patterns might help give weight to the need to protect them - proving that they are not infrequent or fluke visitors not deserving of specific attention.
The Cayman News Service reported, "Despite their precarious situation, there is no law to protect sharks in Cayman waters but hopes for the species have been raised in the region following the ban on shark fishing by Belize, Mexico, St Maarten, Honduras and the Bahamas. Timothy Austin, Deputy Director of the DoE, welcomed the ban by neighbouring countries. 'This will give a boost to the health of the marine environment for the Caribbean,' he said."
Read about the sharks in the Cayman News Service.