Sharks play an essential rol in the health of our oceans

Information, News, Research

Follow the…. FOOD!

Feeding Basking shark, picture by Alex Mustard

Basking sharks are filter feeders, they have no teeth and feed on microscopic plankton by opening wide their huge mouths.

Satellite imagery of microscopic life in the seas around Scotland could boost understanding of the world’s second largest fish, a new report suggests. In a Scottish first, maps have been produced to show ocean front boundaries phytoplankton blooms and plumes of sediment off the coast.

Phytoplankton and certain sediments provide food and nutrients for animals. These include huge basking sharks, as well as smaller fish which provide prey for seals and seabirds.

Map of plankton blooms and temperatures

 

In Australia, researchers have also mapped plankton in relation to whale shark feeding.

 

Plankton collected in a drag net (picture by Peter Verhoog, Dutch Shark Society)

More info:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-26833385

http://www.dutchsharksociety.org/research-made-visible-whale-sharks-at-ningaloo-reef/

http://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/2010/12/mapping-plankton-pathways-in-the-southern-ocean/

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