Sandbar sharks travel furthest than ever tracked

Sandbar sharks are known to have traveled to Cyprus and Egypt, but they were recently tracked in Sicily.

 Sandbar sharks (photo credit: HAGAI NETIV/MORRIS KHAN STATION FOR SEA EXPLORATION IN THE UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA)
Sandbar sharks
(photo credit: HAGAI NETIV/MORRIS KHAN STATION FOR SEA EXPLORATION IN THE UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA)

A sandbar shark was discovered to have traveled the furthest out of the Mediterranean Sea than has ever been recorded before.

Researchers at University of Haifa's Leon H. Charney Marine Sciences School tagged a shark that they nicknamed Hagay and tracked his journey to Sicily.

"Sharks that we tagged here in Israel have been known to get to Cyprus and Egypt, but there was never evidence of them traveling all the way to Italy," said Aviad Scheinin and he is head of the head of the super-predators department in the The Morris Kahn Marine Research Station at the University of Haifa.

"The sandbar shark population is in danger of extinction in the Mediterranean, and this new information is important for the work to protect it."

This is the seventh season in which researchers at Moris Cahan Station have tagged the sharks for the sake of tracking them at this time of year. As part of the research, the researchers examine the sharks' DNA, conduct blood tests, measure their germ count, test their procreation levels, and more.

 Sandbar sharks (credit: HAGAI NETIV/MORRIS KHAN STATION FOR SEA EXPLORATION IN HAIFA UNIVERSITY) Sandbar sharks (credit: HAGAI NETIV/MORRIS KHAN STATION FOR SEA EXPLORATION IN HAIFA UNIVERSITY)

Hagay was tagged in May and was tracked leaving Hadera in the middle of the month. According to Dr. Shienin, there is very little information on Sandbar sharks in the Mediterranean, but now that they have discovered that the sharks travel further than previously assumed, preservation efforts will have to include law-making and enforcement in more countries.