The Project

How do we work ?

Using a variety of techniques we gather data that allows us to understand key facts about whale sharks. Specifically which areas or environments are key to their survival.

  • Satellite tags allow us to follow individuals as they move both on a horizontal and vertical plane.

  • Photo Identification - The spotted pattern of each shark is unique, like a fingerprint, allowing us to use photo identification for “capture / recapture”. This lets us know if a shark is sighted elsewhere on the planet or when the individual returns to the Galapagos. 

  • Tissue or biopsy sampling to collect DNA for genetic analysis, Stable Isotopes and fatty acids to better understand population size and structure as well as connectivity with other groups worldwide. Additional information may be diet related and used as an indicator of where sharks are feeding.
© Simon J. Pierce
© Simon J. Pierce

  • Blood draw for chemical hormonal analysis. This provides data about basic health and may be used to determine reproductive status.
  • Biometric measurements to ascertain size, (overall length) that together with recapture may also provides us with data for growth rate estimation.
  •  Environmental factors and behaviour.

Check out the short videos from the scientists at work.

You would like to READ MORE about the project?

Go BACK to