Dr Mark Meekan presents ‘Tagging and tracking the world’s largest fish’, on Friday 20 June from 1pm to 2pm.
The past 15 years has seen rapid development of our understanding of the ecology of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) that aggregate seasonally at Ningaloo Reef, Australia.
Monitoring fine-scale movements suggests that whale sharks migrate to the reef to feed on seasonal aggregations of baitfishes and euphausiids. Satellite tagging has shown that sharks departing Ningaloo make frequent dives in excess of 980 m and migrate generally toward the northeast, often into Indonesian waters.
Photo-identification has confirmed that many sharks return to the reef, with some individuals resighted at intervals of more than a decade and a large number of individuals making frequent inter-annual visits.
Dr Mark Meekan is the Scientist-in-Charge of the Darwin office of the Australian Institute of Marine Science. He completed a PhD with Griffith University in 1992 during which he examined the ecology of coral reef fishes on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Mark’s current research interests focus on the larval ecology of reef fishes and the ecology of sharks and rays. He has projects on these topics that are based on the GBR, on coastal environments of the NT coastline and at Ningaloo Reef WA.