Great Whites get all the attention, but the waters of the San Francisco Bay are teeming with other, smaller sharks (like the leopard shark), who occupy the top spot on the Bay food chain. Where do they live? What is their relationship with sharks on the coastal waters? How do their social structures work? How many are there? There are many unanswered questions about the Bay’s sharks, but in order to study these animals, researchers have to catch them first.
The Aquarium of the Bay is launching a program to learn more about these sharks. They are sending out their collection boats to catch, tag, and release as many Bay sharks as they can find. Next would be a campaign to get Bay Area fishermen and others to report the tags they find, and create a database. Lastly, researchers will launch a second round of tagging, using acoustic tags that respond to sensors already placed around the bay (and typically used to track salmon populations).
You may listen to the “Sharks of the San Francisco Bay” Radio report online, as well as find additional links and resources. Also see additional photos for this story.
Amy Standen is a Reporter for QUEST and Radio News at KQED-FM.