A tiger shark named ‘Andy’, tagged in Bermuda in 2014 by the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) has recently broken the record for distance traveled by a GHRI tagged shark, covering 33,820 miles in 1,113 days – a little over three years – and is still going!
The GHRI has an extensive history of tagging sharks with satellite tags to study their migration patterns and interactions with fisheries. To date, over 150 tiger, mako and oceanic whitetip sharks have been tagged with satellite tags around the world by GHRI researchers but ‘Andy’ has surpassed them all.
The satellite tags used in this study report a shark’s location every time the dorsal fin breaks the surface of the water. Because tiger sharks spend less time on the surface than other species, the battery in their tags tends to last longer than other tagged sharks.
“We have had satellite tagged mako sharks go on some very impressive treks around the Atlantic but the batteries in those tags tend to run out after a year or two since makos go to the surface and report very frequently,” says GHRI Director and NSU Professor Mahmood Shivji, Ph.D. “Tiger sharks report less often, but in return have provided the longest time and distance tracks – and ‘Andy’ is the new champion.”
Named after the angler who caught the shark for tagging, ‘Andy’ has continued to add to the knowledge base of these wide ranging animals, and is still reporting from far out in the Atlantic, near the mid-Atlantic Ridge.
‘Andy’ and all GHRI tagged sharks can be followed online in near real-time at www.GHRItracking.org.