Find out what happened to the elusive longfin mako shark tagged in ‘Tiburones: Sharks of Cuba’.
During Discovery Channel’s 2015 Shark Week, we saw a longfin mako tagged during the show Tiburones: Sharks of Cuba. It was a chance encounter captured on film by our friend, Andy Casagrande. It was an exciting moment for shark research, as there is little to no information on this elusive species. We watched with excitement and were hoping to hear what the data revealed. Well, here it is!
The shark made a 5,500 mile journey in just 5 months. From Cuba, the shark traveled north through the Gulf of Mexico, around the coast of Florida and up the northern seaboard all the way to New Jersey! The shark then headed back south and the tag finally popped off, as programed, about 125 miles of the coast of Virginia.
“The amazing thing is this longfin mako’s tag popped up in nearly the same exact location as another one we tagged in the northeastern portion of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico a few years ago,” explains Associate Researcher with Mote Marine Laboratory John Tyminski.
According to researchers, the other longfin mako shark (also a mature male) followed a nearly identical route. The animal was tagged in the Gulf in April/May, moved through the straights of Florida, and the tag eventually popped off in a similar area in the month of July.
The specialized tag also recorded the shark’s diving patterns. The animal reached a maximum depth of over a mile beneath the surface, experiencing close to freezing temperatures! However, it spent most of the time above 500 meters, or 1,640 feet deep.
There will be an updated version of the show on Discovery Channel at 7 p.m. on August 30, during the network’s Shweekend.