Aquarium of the Bay Analyzes Data from Preliminary Sevengill Shark Research; Additional Funding Will Take Program to the Next Level

Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:00am EDT

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Aquarium of the Bay Analyzes Data from Preliminary Sevengill Shark Research;
Additional Funding Will Take Program to the Next Level





SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.


About Aquarium of the Bay
Aquarium of the Bay is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit owned and operated by The Bay
Institute.  Focused on the local marine life of San Francisco Bay, the
Aquarium is dedicated to creating experiences that inspire conservation of the
Bay and its watershed. The Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos
and Aquariums (AZA), and certified as a Green Business by the city of San
Francisco. www.aquariumofthebay.org.


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Christina Slager
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SOURCE  Aquarium of the Bay

Michele Bernhardt, +1-415-623-5343, micheleb@aquariumofthebay.org
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