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A Journey Into Paradise

Great Shark Race Preparation Starts in Isla Mujeres,Mexico

15 May, 2016

The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) recently partnered with Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) and the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) in Isla Mujeres,Mexico on a cave diving and shark tagging expedition in preparation for the second annual Great Shark Race,reported CBS Local Miami. The event was the first in the 2016 series,which will follow eight tagged mako sharks who were fitted with satellite tags in advance of the Great Shark Race.

“During the Great Shark Race,which is modeled after the International Game Fish Association’s (IGFA) marlin race,makos are tagged and tracked in real time over a six-month period,” wrote CBS Local Miami. “Researchers and the public can then follow the sharks through the GHRI Tracking Website.”

Proceeds from the race reportedly benefit the GHOF and GHRI in Isla Mujeres,Mexico,which both conduct scientific research and host educational programs to conserve the world’s natural marine environment. Programs like the recent shark tagging expedition in Isla Mujeres,Mexico,will help to preserve the ocean’s delicate ecosystem for future generations to enjoy.

“The Great Shark Race is fun,but it is all about the groundbreaking research that allows us to obtain relevant data to better understand mako shark migration,” shared Dr. Harvey. “The Great Shark Race is a way to engage,enlighten and educate the public in our ocean conservation efforts.”

According to CBS,a limited number of tags are available for companies or individuals to purchase and name one of the mako sharks,but they will have to compete with the popularity of Ebenezer,who was the 2015 winner,logging nearly 7,000 miles during the six-month observation period. Last year’s champion was reportedly sponsored by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite Foundation.

“The information we gather [from the sharks tagged in Isla Mujeres] is essential for proper fisheries management and conservation of mako sharks,” Harvey added.

According to Mahmood Shivji,Ph.D.,who is a professor at NSU’s Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography and serves as the director of NSU’s Guy Harvey Research Institute,mako sharks are notorious for traveling long distances,but little is known about the details of their movements. Researchers hope to learn more about the sharks who were tagged near Isla Mujeres,Mexico,including their timing,orientation,differences between sexes and sizes,scales of movement and what factors drive these migrations

“Given the large reductions and declining population trends,mako sharks are in need of better management and immediate conservation,” Shivji stated. “This knowledge is essential for developing effective conservation measures,such as time and area closures for shark fisheries.”

In addition to the sharks tagged off the coast of Isla Mujeres,Mexico,more makos will be tagged in Ocean City,Maryland,later this month. The winners of the 2016 Great Shark Race will be announced in December. For more information,visit www.GreatSharkRace.com.

When are you coming to Isla Mujeres and Mexico’s Riviera Maya for a tour?

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