PC: John Harrington - Project 1Z
WHY DO THEY NEED SAVING?
Short-fin and long-fin mako sharks are apex predators, meaning they influence prey populations. Without an apex predator, the whole ecosystem collapses onto itself and an imbalance occurs between other organisms.
With threats from overfishing and bycatch, these sharks take a long time to reproduce and reach sexual maturity (20 years for female short-fin makos), further causing their rapid decline.
In addition to mako meat containing high levels of mercury, a recent study found that your pet might be exposed to high mercury levels in their pet food, as 63% of tested samples contained shark meat and 70% of those samples were mako meat (Scientist Diego Cardenosa).
Little is known about both Pacific Mako species. The IUCN states there is missing information on:
life history and ecology
population size, distribution, and trends
We hope that our research, through a mako-fin camera tag and behavioral work, will help to answer one or some of these areas of research. We are working on the fin camera tag with Monterey Bay Research Institute's Thom Maughan and CalPoly Student Gabriel Santos Elizondo: https://github.com/thommaughan/sharkcafecam. Additionally, because makos are extremely fast, this camera tag might leverage some work done for tuna!
Help us raise $50K to fund the fin-camera tag! Stay updated on our mako research by following our highlights on our Instagram page: @projectkolika.
Deciphering any new thing about the Pacific mako species could aid in improving conservation measures; therefore, helping their population numbers.