Congratulations to our Fisheries Department team for this great work with the shark fishers who are now assisting with research.

A collaboration between Belize Fisheries Department, the Belizean shark fishing community and researchers at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, Florida International University and Georgia Aquarium seeks to understand how tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) are using the waters of Belize and use this information to better manage them.

Tiger sharks are key predators in marine ecosystems, very much like jaguars in our rain forests. They are one of the species that gets caught in the Belizean shark fishery and they are quite valuable because they are very large, up to 18 feet in length. However, very little is known about their ecology and biology in this region. To fill this knowledge gap, the team is deploying satellite tags on tiger sharks in Belize. To date eight tiger sharks have been fitted with these tags in Belize waters. The tags relay a position for the animal every time the tagged fin breaks the surface of the water. Some tigers have traveled long distances from their tagged positions, making movements into the waters of other nations like Mexico, Cuba, and Honduras (see Individual and some tigers have stayed in Belize (see Individual 10). Understanding these movements will help the Department work with other governments to assess the status of tiger sharks and proceed with management measures to ensure fishing is sustainable.

We want to thank our partners in the fishing industry including Hector Martinez, Omar Faux, Edgar Wagner, Raydi Wagner, Neri Monzon, Alberto Faux, Estevan Faux and Roy Castellenos and many others for making this new project a success.

Belize 8

Belize 10

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[Linked Image]

Tiger Shark Tagging