SAN FRANCISCO, California -- Growing to 11 ft. in length, Sevengills are the largest of the five species of sharks that are commonly found in San Francisco Bay, but little is known about their lifestyle or habitat requirements. In 2008, Aquarium of the Bay partnered with the UC-Davis Biotelemetry Lab to learn more about the sharks' long-term movements and breeding patterns.
To date, this innovative program has implanted acoustic transmitters in 25 Sevengills. Monitors positioned throughout the bay detect and record the transmitters' signals, collecting information that will provide a long-term perspective on the sharks' life patterns and basic ecology. That data is currently being analyzed, and there is an early indication of a seasonal component to the sharks' movements out of the Bay.
"We haven't even skimmed the surface of what we can learn about how these mysterious sharks use the Bay," said Aquarium of the Bay Husbandry Director Christina Slager. "With additional funding we can tag more Sevengills and collect additional information that will increase our understanding of how they may use the Bay as a nursery ground, or if any future construction or dredging projects might endanger their habitat."
The Sevengill sharks on exhibit at Aquarium of the Bay are the highlight of SHARKtober, a month-long program to build public awareness about the sharks of San Francisco Bay. All five common species--which also include Leopard Sharks, Brown Smoothhounds, Soupfins and Spiny Dogfish--can be found in the Aquarium.
On October 16th, the Aquarium will hold its SHARKtoberFest Party, a festive fundraiser for shark research that includes giving the first SharkSaver award to Jim Toomey, creator of Sherman's Lagoon comic strip, for his role in educating the public about shark conservation. The next day, October 17th, features a shark-focused film festival co-sponsored by The San Francisco Ocean Film Festival. Visit www.aquariumofthebay.org for details and to purchase tickets to the party and film festival.
Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of UnderwaterTimes.com, its staff or its advertisers.