Growing to more than 16 feet (5m), tiger sharks are regarded as one of the most dangerous – if not misunderstood – of its species. Tiger sharks are considered apex predators, which live at the top of the ocean’s food chain and help keep the entire marine ecosystem in check. But because of overfishing for its fins, flesh and liver, tiger sharks have landed on the nearly threatened list.
OCEARCH, the non-profit research organization tracking great white sharks and other ocean apex predators, prepares to set sail on its first Australian expedition Jan. 27 through Feb. 17, 2015, to study, tag and release tiger sharks near and around the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. To support the expedition, Costa plans to increase its contributions to the cause, donating a portion of each sale from every piece of OCEARCH apparel sold on its website.
A long-term OCEARCH partner and supporter of its unprecedented open source research, Costa designed a full line of shirts, hats and other gear to benefit the organization. Three new t-shirts, Mary Lee, Katharine and Lydia, are named after the satellite tagged great white sharks currently pinging via the OCEARCH online Shark Tracker. Customers can support their favorite shark while donating to help protect them and others in their species. Costa also developed a new shirt to commemorate the Australia expedition.
“Right now, studies suggest tiger sharks are capable of making long distance migrations and more localized movements, but we don’t really know for sure,” said Chris Fischer, OCEARCH expedition leader. “We want to determine the migration of tiger sharks on the east coast of Australia, as well as better understand their reproductive cycle and environmental changes. We’ll also measure the movements and residency times tiger sharks spend near swimming beaches, and provide long-term monitoring data that can be used in planning public safety.”
“Because of OCEARCH’s open source, real-time data reporting, anyone with an Internet connection can follow along with the Australian tiger shark expedition, as well as check up on other tagged sharks from around the world,” said Al Perkinson, vice president of marketing for Costa. “The more we know about these apex predators, the more informed we will be on how to protect them and the ocean environment where they live.”
To support OCEARCH through Costa’s apparel, visit www.costadelmar.com. Follow along with the OCEARCH Australian expedition by visiting www.ocearch.org/#SharkTracker.
OCEARCH is a non-profit organization with a global reach for unprecedented ocean-based research on apex predators such as tiger sharks, supporting leading researchers and institutions seeking to attain groundbreaking data on the movement, biology and health of sharks to protect their future while enhancing public safety. The researchers OCEARCH supports work aboard the M/V OCEARCH, a 126’ Cat powered vessel equipped with a 75,000 lb. hydraulic research platform, where the ship serves as both mothership and at-sea laboratory. OCEARCH expeditions are sponsored in large part by Caterpillar Inc. as part of a socially innovative multi-year partnership, along with critical support from Costa Sunglasses, Shell, DYT Yacht Transport, Contender, Yamaha, SAFE Boats, MUSTAD and Landry’s Inc.
Using a one-of-kind hydraulic elevator and research platform scientists have approximately 15 minutes of access to live, mature tiger sharks (and other species) to conduct 12 different studies including tagging and sampling. Once caught, the tiger sharks will be measured, sexed, tissue will be collected (blood, muscle and fin clip) and the sharks will be tagged with satellite and acoustic transmitters. Several individuals will also be fitted with accelerometer/camera packages before being released. Data from the accelerometers show that the animals recover and start swimming strongly within 2-4 hours after release.
As the leading manufacturer of the world’s clearest polarized performance sunglasses, Costa offers superior lens technology and unparalleled fit and durability. Still handcrafted today in Florida, Costa has created the highest quality, best performing sunglasses and prescription sunglasses (Rx) for outdoor enthusiasts since 1983.
For Costa, conservation is all about sustainable fishing. Many fisheries that should be vibrant and healthy are all but devoid of native fish because they have fallen victim to poor fishing practices, unregulated development, lack of watershed protection or all of the above. Costa works with partners around the world to help increase awareness and influence policy so that both the fish and fishermen of tomorrow will have healthy waters to enjoy. Costa encourages others to help in any way they can.