Rare sand tiger shark nursery found in Great South Bay

New York Daily News, January 6, 2016

By Lisa Colangelo

Scientists from the New York Aquarium found a different kind of nursery school off the waters of Long Island.

A rare nursery for sand tiger sharks was discovered in the Great South Bay, officials said Tuesday.

Researchers with the Wildlife Conservation Society started tracking the shark — a docile creature known for its frightening appearance and strong swimming prowess — in 2011 when a dead juvenile shark was spotted at a local marina.

By using acoustic transmitters and tagging, scientists were able to prove sharks were returning to the same section of the bay as a safe place to feed and grow.

“Sand tiger shark pups are not born here but migrate from down south to spend the summers as juveniles in New York’s coastal waters,” said Dr. Merry Camhi, director of NY Seascape, the wildlife group’s local marine conservation program. “The acoustically tagged animals in our study will help us better understand where the sharks go, their habitat needs and how we can better protect them.”

Officials said the shark has been listed as “vulnerable” and “critically endangered” in parts of the world due to overfishing, being caught in nets and other hazards.

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