New research reveals it’s possible to detect sharks moving into an area without actually seeing any of them. All that’s needed is a couple litres of water.
People leave DNA everywhere. Sharks do, too. In fact, they leave a lot of stuff behind in the water — sloughed off skin, mucus, and, yes, even poop. And DNA released from it becomes known as environmental DNA or eDNA.
FIU marine scientists Demian Chapman, Bautisse Postaire and Judith Bakker from the Institute of Environment — along with a collaborative team of researchers from New College of Florida and Havenworth Coastal Conservation — wanted to see if a spring and summer influx of blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus) into Florida’s Terra Ceia Bay could be detected by filtering and extracting eDNA from water samples. MORE
Header image: Tonya Wiley, Havenworth Coastal Conservation.