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  • Writer's picturePEC Lab

eDNA helps track seasonal presence of blacktip sharks

Photo by Tonya Wiley

Monitoring seasonal movements of sharks can be resource intensive. But what if we could do it using seawater? Our team including Drs. Chapman, Postaire, and Bakker set out to test this question in Terra Ceia Bay, Florida with collaborators at New College of Florida and Havenworth Coastal Conservation who have been studying sharks in the area for years. When blacktip sharks were present in the bay, their DNA was detected more frequently in the water samples than when the sharks moved out of the bay.

“Catching sharks is hard, but catching water is easy,” Dr. Postaire said. “This study is an important step in the development of new methods to detect and monitor sharks.”

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