Mote Marine Laboratory researchers are asking the public for help in finding a missing satellite tag that was used to track a whale shark.
The tag was attached to the female whale shark nicknamed “Sara” May 28 to transmit data about her movements to Mote scientist Dr. Robert Hueter. The information transmitted daily changed July 2, when it began reporting relatively constant temperature readings instead of the variations that would indicate dives typical of a whale shark. According to Hueter, after several days of similar readings, researchers concluded the tag had detached and was floating free.
The tag could have detached for a number of reasons. Scientists hope to recover the tag, which costs $1,900, to understand why it detached and possibly use it again.
The tag is black, torpedo-shaped and about 6 inches long. It has a black antenna and is likely to have a wire tether attached.
To save transmission costs, which can run hundreds of dollars, scientists have turned off the satellite.
“The readings are typically 12 hours behind the tag’s actual location, and (because) we really weren’t learning any further information about our research topic — whale shark movements — or couldn’t use the location information to retrieve the tag itself, we made the decision to turn it off,” Hueter said in a prepared statement. “Now, we’re hoping that the public will spot it either floating in the Gulf or washed up on the beach and get the tag back to us.”
Mote will pay the shipping cost for the return of the tag and will provide the person who returns it with a Mote Center for Shark Research shark tagger’s cap. Call 388-1827 or 800-691-MOTE if you spot the tag.
For more information, visit mote.org/sharkbolo.
Contact Robin Hartill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Currently 0 Responses
12 French open house
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
12 Picture Day, Free for the kids
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
12 Children's World 50th birthday party
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
12 Dog Days of Summer Adoption Event
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Big Cat Habitat’s Jam Out Hunger event was overflowing Sunday, with guests, volunteers and — most importantly — food.
Thankful for First
First America Bank showed its love for the local Humane Society June 13, at its “Paws for a Cause” adoption event.
What a catch
The 84th annual Sarasota Tarpon Tournament came to a close Saturday, with a fish-off between seven anglers. David Sugar was named champion after catching a tarpon with a girth of 38.75 inches.