Last December, Mauvis Gore and her team studying the large sharks in Grand Cayman’s North Sound managed to tag a 3.5m female tiger shark, nicknamed "Tina", with a SPOT satellite tag, allowing them to track her position whenever she surfaces. Since then, they’ve been following her movements around the North Sound in an effort to learn more about the habits of local sharks, and to help ensure that these predators can coexist peacefully along with the thousands of tourists that flock to popular sites like Stingray City.
As Mauvis writes on the Cayman Shark Study blog, while no visitor has ever been harmed by one of these sharks, fishermen unnecessarily catch and kill these animals as a deterrent. So far, they’ve found that Tina and Luiza – a scalloped hammerhead also tagged by the team – generally keep out of Stingray City, surfacing at night and outside the reef. Because the North Sound is such a high-traffic area used by tourists and fishermen alike, understanding the movements of large sharks like Tina in the area will provide a good starting point for discussions on how to ensure that sharks and people can thrive side-by-side.