Great Whites Gather Annually At Secret Shark Caf In Worlds Longest Vertical Migration

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Why did the fantastic white shark cross the northern Pacific Ocean? It might seem like the start of some bad ecological joke, however it’ s precisely what scientists have actually been asking themselves for more than a years. Now, they think they might have some responses.

Every year, a big group of sharks who typically call the California coast house move to the open ocean midway in between Baja California and Hawaii in a Colorado-sized area called the White Shark Caf . Why they would leave the nutrient-dense waters, filled with plenty of seals and sea lions to get fat on, for the apparently barren 260-kilometer-wide (160-mile) oceanic wasteland was a secret for marine researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Stanford University. The group tagged 3 lots white sharks with satellite pop-up trackers and followed them out to sea throughout their April migration.

On their method to the caf, the sharks were tape-recorded making dives of as much as 915 meters (3,000 feet) by utilizing warm currents to assist move down the water column. Once they reached their location around late winter season and early spring, the sharks started to “ bounce dive ” in V-shapes, diving to 100-200 meters (330-650 feet) during the night. Throughout the day, the sharks dove as deep as 450 meters (~ 1,450 feet) where the water is low and cold in oxygen. The outcomes, yet to released in a peer-reviewed research study, are unexpected.

The map reveals the white sharks’ travel course throughout the Pacific Ocean. Topps/Schmidt Ocean

“ It ’ s the biggest migration of animals in the world– a vertical migration that’ s timed with the light cycle, ” scientist Salvador Jorgensen informed the San Francisco Chronicle . “ During the day they go simply listed below where there is light and during the night they turn up nearer the surface area to warmer, more efficient waters under the cover of darkness.”


Located 1,200 nautical miles east of Hawaii at the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre , among the biggest biomes in the world, the area is affected by California’ s present (which brings cold, nutrient-rich waters south along the United States west coast) and by equatorial upwelling from the south that brings performance.

While satellite images reveal a nutrient-poor landscape, the sharks ’ habits informs a various story about what prowls below — probably big groups of phytoplankton, fish, squid, and jellyfish that they are eating. Because more than 40 percent of the world’ s oceans are open, the scientists state biological labs such as the caf might be essential to comprehending environment modification and ecological adjustments and actions.

“ We now have a cash cow of information. We have actually doubled the present 20-year information set on white shark diving habits and ecological choices in simply 3 weeks, ” stated marine researcher Barbara Block.

Satellite pop-up tag on placed on a white shark. Schmidt Ocean

[H/T: San Francisco Chronicle ]

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