March 2014 sees researchers from Stanford University, the University of Western Australia (UWA), University College London (UCL) and the Zoological Society London (ZSL), supported by the Bertarelli Foundation, preparing to revisit the Chagos Archipelago in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).
The research team are heading back to BIOT to service the 30 acoustic listening stations deployed in 2013, which since then have been monitoring shark movements amongst the atolls of the marine reserve. The current expedition will download all the data that has been collected over the last 12 months, as well as perform essential maintenance such as cleaning, reinforcing their moorings and installing fresh batteries.
Additionally, the researchers will be deploying several types of brand new tags on sharks and manta rays to gather even more data. One of the tags we’re hoping to use is a newly developed camera tag that is able to combine video footage with acceleration and movement data – telling us not only where and how the sharks are moving, but more detailed information about their behaviour. This will be the first time these cutting edge tags have been used in BIOT, and the scientists are all very excited to see what they will show us.