Together with researchers from the IMARES Institute of Wagening University and members of the Dutch Elasmobranch Society the St. Maarten Nature Foundation placed a sound transmitter tag on sharks in the Man of War Shoal Marine Park last Saturday. The research will help to determine the migration pattern of sharks in the territorial waters of Sint Maarten.
“This research is very important in order to determine the movement pattern of sharks in our territorial waters. We will now learn where sharks frequent, where they swim to to feed and if they swim to neighboring islands which is important for us to know given recent incidents regarding sharks being killed on neighboring islands,” commented Tadzio Bervoets of the Nature Foundation.
The research, which is being conducted under the Save our Sharks Project of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, is part of a three year study where sharks and their importance to the ecosystem is being studied; “Sharks are some of the most misunderstood and maligned creatures on the planet. They are also some of the most important animals in the ocean food chain and keep the sea in balance. Over the last decade we have lost almost 99% of sharks on a global scale as well as on St. Maarten and they are now some of the most endangered animals on the planet. Through this project of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, of which the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation is a part, we hope to change that through science and education,” continued Bervoets.
The research is being carried out by Shark Acoustic Expert Dr. Erwin Winter of the IMARES institute of Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Similar research will be carried out in St. Eustatius, Saba and the Saba Bank.