Sunday, June 23, 2024

Scientists Track Longest-Documented Migration Of A Silky Shark


Researchers from the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF), the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) and other organizations have documented the most extensive migration ever recorded for a silky shark.

The study reveals critical insights into the behavior of this severely overfished species and emphasizes the urgent need for cooperative international management measures to prevent further population declines.

The adult female silky shark, nicknamed “Genie,” was tagged with a fin-mounted satellite transmitter near Wolf Island to the north of the Galapagos Marine Reserve on July 2021, and soon embarked on a journey covering more than 27,666 kilometers/17,191 miles (equivalent to crossing the United States from coast to coast four times) over 546 days.

The study shattered previous movement record almost six-fold, illustrating the shark’s extensive use of the open ocean, far beyond national jurisdictions, demonstrating the urgent need to establish regulations to conserve ocean biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction.

Silky sharks are particularly vulnerable to overfishing due to their slow growth, late maturity and the high demand in the global shark fin trade. Classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, they represent one of the most frequently caught sharks in both artisanal and industrial fisheries, and are a conservation priority for CDF and other organizations.

You can read the full study here.

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.