What Bub­bled

Asian Diver (English) - - News -

Sci­en­tists fol­lowed the move­ments of a fe­male whale shark for nearly two-and-a-half years as she swam more than 20,000 kilo­me­tres from the coast of Cen­tral Amer­ica to the Mar­i­anas Trench near Asia.

The shark was tagged with a trans­mit­ting tag back in 2011 in the Pa­cific Ocean near Panama’s Coiba Is­land. For the next 841 days, the whale shark, af­fec­tion­ately named “Anne”, was tracked mov­ing south to the Galá­pa­gos Is­lands and across the Pa­cific to the Mar­i­anas Trench, south of Ja­pan and east of the Philip­pines. This to­talled to a dis­tance of 20,142 kilo­me­tres.

Whale sharks dive to more than 1,900 me­tres. But it is un­known what the an­i­mal was do­ing in this area. “We have very lit­tle in­for­ma­tion about why whale sharks mi­grate,” Héc­tor M. Guzmán, marine bi­ol­o­gist from the Smith­so­nian Trop­i­cal Re­search In­sti­tute

(STRI) and the study’s lead au­thor said in a state­ment. “Are they search­ing for food, seek­ing breed­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties or driven by some other im­pulse?”

While whale sharks have been tracked for shorter dis­tances along sim­i­lar routes, this re­port is the long­est-recorded migration to date and the first evidence of a po­ten­tial trans-Pa­cific route.


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