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Scientists to put transmitters on sharks off Isla del Coco

June 6, 2008

For the first time in Costa Rica, this week a group of scientists will place tracking devices on sharks off the coast of Isla del Coco, an uninhabited island 365 miles west of the Pacific port city of Puntarenas, according to environmentalist group MarViva.

The eight scientists, who belong to a collection of Latin America-based conservation organizations, aim to monitor 21 sharks from today through Sunday.

“During the expedition six apparatuses using satellite technology, 15 using sound, will be placed (on the sharks) that will allow (us) to determine the local and regional movement of hammerhead sharks, silky sharks and Galapagos sharks that travel through the waters of Isla del Coco National Park,” according to a MarViva press release.

“The final objective of the process is to have a database to better understand these animals’ movements and use this information to enforce conservation and sustainability programs, as the species is in danger of extinction,” the release said.

It’s the first time in Costa Rica that scientists take sharks briefly out of the water to place tracking devices on their dorsal fins to learn more about their travel habits.

Participating scientists come from Tico groups MarViva, PRETOMA and CIMAR, Colombia’s Fundación Malpelo and Ecuadorean organization Charles Darwin.

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