This letter is to show my strong support for OCEARCH white shark research in the Atlantic. OCEARCH is a nonprofit research organization conducting ground-breaking research in a collaborative, inclusive, and open-source environment, enabling leading scientists, students and institutions to generate previously unobtainable data on white sharks and other threatened marine species.
The methods used on the OCEARCH research ship are unlike any other, allowing research procedures under safe conditions not possible from other vessels. These include: accurate measurements of shark size; collection of genetic samples, parasites, and blood for health assessments; ultrasound examination; and internal and external attachment of electronic archival tags. Tracking results prove that OCEARCH-tagged sharks continue normal, healthy behavior after release.
OCEARCH open-sources its data and samples to other researchers, students, and teachers. Since 2007, OCEARCH has collaborated with 146 researchers from 80 institutions. OCEARCH also shares real-time migration data with the public through OCEARCH’s Global Shark Tracker. The tracking data allows studies such as the examination of fine and broad-scale movements, habitat use, site fidelity and residency, and reproductive cycles of sharks. Using the Global Shark Tracker created the OCEARCH STEM Learning Curriculum. The free STEM Curriculum, available for grades K-8, enables students to learn STEM skills while following the real-time movements of their favorite sharks.
I urge NOAA to support OCEARCH in every way possible as OCEARCH collects critical research data and continues to inspire current and future generations of explorers, scientists, and stewards of the ocean. Thank you for your consideration of my views.