NOAA Pelagic Tags Show Amazing Distances

March 23, 2008 By: Marshall Cutchin

“Near-real-time” data shows just how far species tagged by various researchers have swum, and the distances recorded for various turtles, whales, sharks and birds is simply extraordinary. This morning the travels of a young white shark are noted by Tom Stienstra in the San Francisco Chronicle: “The shark was released in February from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and in six weeks has already swum past the southern tip of Baja at Cabo San Lucas and is heading south to the Mexican mainland. That is a distance of roughly 1,200 miles covered in 44 days, according to electronic reports, an average of nearly 27 miles per day – and that’s if the shark is swimming in a straight line, an unlikely event.”