There is a website where you can track shark locations from around the world.
Ocearch, a global non-profit organization, is currently monitoring over 400 sharks – including great whites, hammerheads and tiger sharks.
The organization is tagging sharks to conduct research on the species, to speed the ocean’s return to its natural balance and to provide shelter for endangered creatures.
When a tagged shark’s dorsal fins approach the water’s surface, it triggers a “ping,” which allows the website to track the animal’s location.
While sharks take center stage, OK tracks other sea creatures too – including turtles, seals, dolphins and even a whale.
How many sharks are there?
There are currently 432 sharks registered in the organization’s system.
Recent pings include the tiger shark Isla Belle (nearly 114 feet), spotted near Australia on August 5, and the giant whale shark Ali, nearly 20 feet long and weighing 2,921 pounds, found in the found near Papua New Guinea.
On August 2, a great white shark that was over 13 feet long and weighed approximately 1,500 pounds at the time of tagging was pinged 60 miles from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
In Europe, two sharks swim west of Portugal — Machaca, an 8-foot blue shark, and Rizzilient, a smaller female, measuring just 5 feet.
Where do most sharks live?
As you might expect, many sharks are circling North America – with hotspots such as the Gulf of Mexico, Florida and off the coast of New York.
The waters near Australia are also popular, and there are currently 20 sharks near Cape Town, South Africa.
The Mediterranean Sea and the west coast of Central America are most popular with turtles, and a collection of seals has been spotted near San Francisco, California.
Why does the organization go after sharks?
Ocearch collects previously unobtainable data that will help conserve the oceans, protect endangered species and improve public safety.
The team has undertaken several expeditions in recent years, all with the aim of gathering more information – and tagging more sharks to track and study.
The 44th expedition begins in Canada in September and will focus on great white sharks, 36 of which are currently tagged in Canadian waters.
Previous research has found Nova Scotia to be an important summer foraging site for the animals, and the team hopes to gather information that will help guide responsible conservation and public safety efforts.
What about shark attacks?
The site was not created with the intention of tracking shark attacks, but Ocearch has said its research will help improve public safety and awareness.
While shark attacks have recently been thrust back into the spotlight after a woman was bitten on her leg while snorkeling off the coast of Cornwall, large-scale attacks are very rare.
The victim herself said she didn’t want the “freak incident” to “tarnish the reputation of an already-haunted species.”
Of these, 10 proved fatal.
To put this into perspective, estimates show that there are nearly 1 billion sharks in the world.
According to National Geographic, there is a 1 in 3.7 million chance of being killed by a shark. Some of the things that are statistically more likely to kill you than a shark are:
- a champagne cork
- a lawnmower
- a ladder
- fall over
In the UK, prior to the Cornwall incident, the Shark Trust reported that “there had been no unprovoked shark bites in British waters since records began in 1847”.
Are sharks endangered?
Despite their large population, sharks are considered an endangered animal.
While some shark species have sustainable populations, others are disappearing from the oceans at an alarming rate.
According to the wildlife organization WWF the main threats These include overfishing, damage to reefs and other important habitats, and an increasing demand for shark fins leading to hunting and poaching.
ScienceDaily recently reported that two-thirds of the sharks are in the global shark fin trade threatened with extinction.
Where can I track the sharks?
You can learn their names, find out where they were last seen, and even their length, weight, and what shark family they belong to.