Citizen-based Observations on Shark and Mobulid Species in Tobago,West Indies

Authors

  • Lanya Fanovich Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville (ERIC)
  • Neil D. Cook Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville (ERIC)
  • Ryan S. Mohammed Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville (ERIC) and Department of Life Sciences, The University of the West Indies (UWI)
  • Aljoscha Wothke Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville (ERIC)

Keywords:

Ginglymostoma, Sphyrna, Carcharhinus, Mobula, Squalus, Negaprion, Tobago dive site, citizen science

Abstract

Recreational dive operators in Tobago have indicated that shark and mobulid species sightings have become increasingly rare. However, in the absence of documentation these trends are difficult to verify. We engaged nine dive operators and collated the sightings of sharks and mobulid rays for the period November 2015 to January 2017 in Tobago. From the data, we conclude that nurse sharks, Ginglymostoma cirratum are the most commonly sighted and widely distributed shark species both spatially and temporally. Overall, eight shark species and two mobulid species were recorded. This report highlights the importance of citizen-based science in identifying key areas for future research into Tobago’s shark and mobulid populations.

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Published

2017-12-31

Issue

Section

Research Papers