Monday August 22, 2022


By using sophisticated electronic tags, a team of researchers led by Stanford University has assembled a large biologging dataset to better understand how elasmobranchs – a group of marine animals including sharks, rays, and skates – use the ocean depths. 

The analysis revealed that, while some species spend their entire lives in shallow waters close to the shores, others plunge hundreds of meters under water. Clarifying how elasmobranchs use the ocean will enable resource managers and policymakers to examine the threats these animals face, and devise better future management and conservation plans.

The researchers compiled two decades of satellite data and archival tags to track the movements of 38 species of elasmobranchs in oceans across the globe. 

“For the first time, we have a standardized, global database that we used to fill important knowledge gaps about the diving behaviors of sharks and rays,” said study co-lead author Samantha Andrzejaczek, a postdoctoral fellow in Marine Biology at Stanford. “This will enable better understanding of what fisheries interact with elasmobranchs and how to improve management of many of these long-lived animals.”

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