Tag A Blue Or Two in 2022
Blue Shark Vodka has teamed up again with leading shark research scientists to find and tag blue sharks. Last year, Blue Shark Vodka announced its partnership with The Atlantic Shark Institute, led by shark expert Captain Job Dodd. In the inaugural “Tag A Blue or Two” mission, the institute and a team of scientists went into the Atlantic sailing from Maine to North Carolina over the course of several weeks.
Alarmingly, the research team found no female blue sharks after days of searching. Two sharks fitted with trackers went “missing” after they were tagged, meaning the trackers malfunctioned. These malfunctions happened in an area of the world known for poor commercial fishing ethics, so while researchers do not know where the sharks disappeared, they believe they were caught and killed as bycatch.
Between the female sharks that were near impossible to spot and tag, and the sharks whose tags went missing, Dodd and his team were alarmed at these findings. This could signal this shark species is more endanger than previously believed.
In June 2022, Dodd and his team set sail again for Tag A Blue Or Two, sponsored by Blue Shark Vodka.
So far The Atlantic Shark Institute has has some major wins in tagging sharks. They have found and tagged more than 8 blue sharks and 4 endangered mako sharks. Several sharks had hooks in their mouths and researchers were able to help remove them. New footage of blue sharks coming to the boats during the study was gathered as well.
“We appreciate all the support we have received from donors like Blue Shark Vodka, because these studies and tagging missions are not one-and-done,” said Dodd. “We have to be out in the water at the right place and right time and it takes a lot of patience and trial and error to find these sharks. We hope to continue to expand our research and determine the long-term sustainability of these species.”
This study will utilize various tag types including acoustic and Smart Position or Temperature Transmitting (SPOT) tags to better understand the movement ecology, seasonal migrational patterns and areas they frequent to feed. Blue Shark Vodka is proud to provide a number of acoustic tags for the program thanks to the support of Blue Shark Vodka fans.
Data from this project will enable scientists to improve management measures and ensure species sustainability.
“We started Blue Shark Vodka with a mission to show the beauty of this often misunderstood species and thought tagging a female blue shark and following along with Blue Shark Vodka drinkers as it ‘pinged’ up and down the coast would be a fun celebration,” said Mark Bloomquist. “Sadly, when no females turned up last year, we realized that finding and tagging a female blue shark was no longer a fun activity but something critically needed for shark researchers to learn more about what is happening to dwindling populations on our coast. We are fully invested in ensuring we protect blues and other sharks.”