Sharks are some of the most feared fish in the sea - but in some parts of the world they’re the ones that are in need of protection. A new conservation project in conjunction with the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences is providing tools for education that this area has never seen before – information that could save the critically endangered tope shark.
With the help of a SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund grant, Buenos Aires has recently started tagging sharks for the first time in order to provide the scientific data needed to create a Natural Protected Area. This information is necessary to protect the species which are often the target of sport fisheries in Argentina.
By monitoring shark and ray nurseries, they can the track patterns of several shark species, including the endangered tope shark. In addition, monies from the Conservation Fund have enabled them to add over a dozen anglers to aid in tagging, two teachers and four fish guides. Outside the protected area, they’ve expanded their reach by convincing two sport angler clubs at Santa Cruz province to incorporate the catch, tag and release practice in their tournaments.
The initial efforts of the program have even been so successful that their work has inspired another scientific team to start tagging sharks at Chubut province. These advancements show that by coordinating efforts and sharing information with others we can make significant strides towards protecting this stunning species.