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Last week, our researchers were able to recover a satellite tag that had been placed on a whale shark at the Galapagos Islands during our August cruise. The tag had never transmitted any positions, but we were recently contacted by artisan Claudio Romero, who found it washed up on a beach in Mompiche, mainland Ecuador, while surfing.

Our Science Director, Dr. Alex Hearn, is in Ecuador at the moment, and met with Claudio to recover the tag and hand him his reward.

“This is exciting news,” said Alex “The tags record the depth of the shark every 4 minutes, and can also calculate a daily position, so I am hoping we will be able to retrieve all that information and figure out when it detached from the shark. The prevailing currents here go from the coast to Galapagos, so it is likely that the shark migrated to the coast before the tag came off.”

The Galapagos Whale Shark Project is a joint venture with marine biologist and photographer Jonathan R. Green, the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park Directorate.