SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Aquarium of the Bay today welcomed a 9.5 ft. long, 319 lb. female sevengill shark, Notorhychus cepedianus, one of the largest sharks it has ever exhibited. The Aquarium, which conducts extensive research on sharks in the San Francisco Bay, will eventually tag the animal and release it back to the exact point in the Bay where it was collected.
"The new sevengill, which was collected as part of our ongoing shark research program, is swimming comfortably in one of our 350,000 gallon exhibits," stated Aquarium of the Bay's husbandry director, Christina Slager.
Slager noted that the Aquarium collected a similarly sized female sevengill in June 2008, which it put on exhibit for five months, then tagged and released back into the Bay. Ongoing monitoring of the shark indicates that she continues to do well in the wild, and provides important information on how she moves about the Bay and further out into the ocean.
Sevengill sharks are common in San Francisco Bay, though rarely seen by the public. Little is known about their behavior and ecology. Working with UC-Davis' Biotelemetry Lab, Aquarium of the Bay staff has implanted transmitters into sevengills to collect valuable information about their movements and activities. Collecting this information will provide a long-term perspective on the sharks' life patterns, basic ecology and issues which endanger their existence.
In addition to tracking shark movements in the Bay, Aquarium staff also has an ongoing research program of shark blood analysis. The staff veterinarian collects a small blood sample from each shark, analyzes its components, and then shares the information with other shark biologists. This information will be used to track the dispersal of various genetic populations of sharks throughout Pacific coast waters.
Aquarium of the Bay is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit marine nature center affiliated with The Bay Institute. The Aquarium is dedicated to creating experiences that inspire conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), and certified as Green Business by the city of San Francisco. Additional information on the Aquarium is available at www.aquariumofthebay.org, and on The Bay Institute at www.bay.org.
SOURCE Aquarium of the Bay