Our research methods are entirely non-lethal since we believe that information obtained by killing sharks is available through other means.
With the assistance of researchers from Canadian universities and institutions, seaside communities and fishers, and with the help of our many affiliates throughout the world, GEERG strives to better understand the Greenland shark and other northern elasmobranchs in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans. GEERG is currently leading several research projects which focus on the following subjects: Shark behaviour, species distribution, DNA analysis, telemetry, fisheries statistics, the public perception of sharks, shark conservation, and the impact of sport diving on sharks.
Several science papers authored by GEERG researchers have been published or are under review. Some of these papers are listed in the Media section under Science Publications.
GEERG tagging, sampling, and image recording procedures are conducted under animal care protocols approved by l'Université du Québec à Montréal (Comité institutionnel de protection des animaux). Fieldwork is conducted under a research license issued by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada (Quebec Region | Government of Canada).
“Our research methods are entirely non-lethal.”
ACOUSTIC AND SATELLITE TELEMETRY
Acoustic telemetry allows remote measurement and reporting of information on sharks. Emitter tags are attached to individual sharks and they send an electronic signal at regular intervals. Underwater receivers placed at strategic locations record the data which consists of depth, temperature and swimming speed. The receivers are deployed and recovered by a dive team when needed. The data is used to make statistical graphs which allows us to better understand the effects of environmental conditions on the movements of the Greenland shark. The data may ultimately allow us to predict when sharks may or may not be present under certain conditions and at specific times of the year. In turn, this may allow us to better coordinate fishing activities in order to reduce by-catch.
PSAT and acoustic telemetry study on the Greenland Shark in the St. Lawrence Estuary
Gallant, J. (GEERG, CEGEP de Drummondville), Harvey-Clark, C. (GEERG, Dalhousie University), Worm, B. (Dalhousie University)
Influence of Physical Variables on the Movement and Behaviour of the Greenland Shark (Somniosus microcephalus) in Shallow Water
Gallant, J., Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR)
St. Lawrence River Estuary Tag Release and Receiver Deployment
Ocean Tracking Network
Gallant, Jeffrey J., Marco A. Rodríguez, Michael J. W. Stokesbury, and Chris Harvey-Clark. 2016. Influence of environmental variables on the diel movements of the Greenland Shark (Somniosus microcephalus) in the St. Lawrence Estuary. Canadian Field-Naturalist 130(1): 1-14.
Stokesbury, Michael J. W., Chris Harvey-Clark, Jeffrey J. Gallant, Barbara A. Block, and Ransom A. Myers. 2005. Movement and environmental preferences of Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) electronically tagged in the St. Lawrence Estuary, Canada. Marine Biology 148: 159-165.
GREENLAND SHARK PREDATION BY SPERM WHALES
The only confirmed predator of the Greenland shark is the sperm whale. GEERG has recorded two occurrences of a sperm whale exhibiting predatory behaviour while in the presence of the Greenland shark in the St. Lawrence Estuary. The same whale - known as Tryphon - died of entanglement in fishing apparatus in 2009. Further investigation by GEERG researcher Jeffrey Gallant (2009) led to the discovery of another potential indicator that the sperm whale could have been feeding on Greenland sharks for several years. Go to the Greenland shark page and click on the PREDATORS tab for more details.
Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG)
Quebec Shark Observatory (QSO)
Administration: Drummondville, QC
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