Here at Oceana we have recently launched a shark campaign to conserve sharks through policy changes. One of the problems with the current management of sharks is that there is very little data associated with the various shark species. How can you manage something you don’t understand?
Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) is a 10-year project that is trying to answer some of those questions. They have put satellite tags on thousands of the Pacific Ocean’s top predators, such as great white sharks, leatherback sea turtles, and bluefin tuna. As a result of their work, scientists are starting to understand where these top predators are going. For example, great whites are shown going to a vast ocean desert where they hang out for months called “The Great White Cafe.” It’s hard to picture great white sharks sitting together at a cafe sipping lattes, but that’s why their work is so interesting — the tags help to uncover all kinds of mysteries that will further support our work at Oceana.
To experience the Pacific adventures, TOPP has launched a new website that connects us to these magnificent creatures. Animated maps display the animals along their journeys with a mileage marker. This amazing site also has blogs from the researchers on their expeditions, information about the species, photos-of-the-day, ask a researcher, and feature stories. Don’t forget to download a widget to receive your own daily message from a migrating species. The daily reports give you the speed, mileage, and closest city of your traveling friend. Who doesn’t want their own pet shark or sea turtle?