Did you know the diving behavior of sharks could be influenced by the moon?
Scientists from the University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute and the Australian Institute of Marine Science used acoustic telemetry to study the patterns of vertical movement, site fidelity and residency of grey reef sharks over two years and nine months. They found out that the sharks descended to deep water and used a wider range of depths around the time of a full moon. They would then move to shallow water with the new moon.
These lunar cycles in vertical movement and residency are strategies for optimizing both energetic budgets and foraging behavior. Researchers also suggested that because sharks are cold-blooded, they prefer warmer waters to conserve energy which could also affect how deep they will dive.
The new discovery shed some light to shark conservation strategies, as these behavioral patterns should be taken into account in the implementation of conservation along with other environmental variables that might affect the susceptibility of reef sharks to fishing.