Habitat use and movement patterns of oceanic whitetip, bigeye thresher and dusky sharks based on archival satellite tags
As part of a larger program to determine the habitat use and movement patterns of pelagic and semi-pelagic sharks, satellite pop-up archival transmitting (PAT) tags have been deployed on sharks in the U.S. Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. One oceanic whitetip shark tagged in the western Gulf of Mexico moved 238 km, and rarely dove below 150 m. The most frequently occupied depth was 25.5-50 m and temperature was 24.05-26 °C. A bigeye thresher shark moved 51 km and was found most frequently between 25.5-50 m and 20.05-22 °C. The bigeye thresher dove up to 528 m with deeper dives occurring during the day. For dusky sharks, the majority of time spent was at 0-40 m deep but did dive to depths of 400 m. Dusky sharks occupied temperatures of 20.05-24 °C over 50% of the time. Tagged dusky sharks had varied movement patterns with one shark moving from south Florida (USA) to the North Carolina/Virginia (USA). A second shark also tagged off south Florida traveled south towards Cuba while a third shark moved little. While data for some species is limited, these results will be useful in providing habitat use data as inputs to Ecological Risk Assessments.