Cocos Island Sea Turtle and Shark Tagging Expedition 18-28 September, 2011

Principal Investigators: Todd Steiner, Randall Arauz and Erick Lopez

Research Assistants: Paul Brennan, Michael Foust, Sam Forbes, Chris Hadley, Jennifer Hadley, Helga Mena, Deborah Kearney, Mike Silver, Nonie Silver, Tom Smith, Mark Stabb, Daniel Thomas

UnderSea Hunter Staff: Rodrigo Roesch & Warren Fernandez, Divemasters
Manuel Campos & Rafael Solano, Skiff drivers


As part of a research program to understand the ecology and movements of sharks and sea turtles within and beyond the borders of Costa Rica’s Cocos Island National Park (Cocos), participants spent seven days at Cocos capturing and tagging sea turtles, recording data on relative abundance on all species of sharks and rays encountered, and collecting scalloped hammerhead shark and sea turtle tissue samples for genetic analysis, and stable isotope analysis.

Participants were divided into two dive teams, which conducted a total of 54 dives during
seven days of diving (September 21-27) at 12 dive sites.

All turtles seen were counted and when possible, attempts to capture them were made.
Assistants helped with catching, moving, weighing and measuring turtles. Other duties
carried out by research assistants included photo/video documentation, shark counting, and receiver retrieval. All receivers were retrieved, data downloaded, new batteries installed and re-deployed, except Alcyone receiver, which was lost and replaced.

Read the full report including results and figures here