Marine Biology

, Volume 148, Issue 1, pp 159–165 | Cite as

Movement and environmental preferences of Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) electronically tagged in the St. Lawrence Estuary, Canada

  • Michael J. W. Stokesbury
  • Chris Harvey-Clark
  • Jeffrey Gallant
  • Barbara A. Block
  • Ransom A. Myers
Research Article

Abstract

Three Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) were tagged with electronic tags, in Baie St. Pancrace, St. Lawrence Estuary, Quebec, Canada. One shark was tagged on 23 July 2004, with an acoustic telemetry tag. Two sharks were each tagged with a pop-up satellite archival tag (PSAT) on 27 August 2004. Two of the sharks remained in or close to the bay, one for 47 days and the other for at least 66 days. The third shark left the bay immediately after tagging on 27 August 2004. This shark entered the main channel of the St. Lawrence Estuary, and had moved 114.9 km upstream by 1 November 2004 when the tag reported to ARGOS satellites. The tags provided a total of 179 days of data on the movement and environmental preferences of Greenland sharks in the St. Lawrence Estuary. Sharks that reported depth and ambient water temperature data from the bay showed significant diel differences in depth preferences and corresponding ambient temperatures. The sharks remained near the bottom of the water column during the day and displayed increased vertical movements at night. The shark that resided in the main channel did not show this pattern, but generally remained at depths between 325 and 352 m. Sharks in the bay experienced water temperatures that ranged from −1.1 to 8.6°C at depths from 0 to 67 m. In the main channel the shark experienced temperatures that ranged from 1.0 to 5.4°C at depths from 132 to 352 m. This is the first report of numerous Greenland sharks inhabiting shallow near shore bays during summer and autumn.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. W. Stokesbury
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chris Harvey-Clark
    • 1
  • Jeffrey Gallant
    • 3
  • Barbara A. Block
    • 2
  • Ransom A. Myers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesDalhousie UniversityNova ScotiaCanada
  2. 2.Tuna Research and Conservation CenterStanford University, Hopkins Marine Station, Oceanview BoulevardPacific GroveUSA
  3. 3.Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG)DrummondvilleCanada

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