There will be video footage of the unexpected encounter that Choy Aming had with up to 75 dusky sharks out on Challenger Banks south of Bermuda. *Photo by Choy Aming
There will be video footage of the unexpected encounter that Choy Aming had with up to 75 dusky sharks out on Challenger Banks south of Bermuda. *Photo by Choy Aming
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WEDNESDAY, NOV. 16: The exhilarating moment shark researchers Choy Aming and Neil Burnie came face to face with more than 70 dusky sharks is one of many stories they will share at a talk tomorrow evening.

They are giving their first talk in two years at the Aquarium to update the public on the Bermuda Shark Project. The pair launched the tiger shark research and tagging project five years ago to find out more about these once mysterious pelagic predators.

As well as showing video footage from their thrilling moment with the duskies off Challenger Banks this summer and other short clips, they will give an overview of the project so far, along with images of their latest satellite tracks from some of the 30 tiger sharks they have tagged.

“We are a couple of years further down the road and we have had some great encounters over the summer to put it into context,” Mr Aming told the Bermuda Sun.

“This will be a good detailed description of where they go and what they do. Now that we are a couple of years in, we can look back on past years’ travels and show the different patterns.

“Three of the tags have been attached for two and a half years which is unprecedented — we have the longest tiger shark tracks for sure and possibly the longest shark tracks. In terms of tiger sharks we are by far the biggest tiger shark project that has ever happened.”

Mr Aming and Mr Burnie will also talk about a new focus in their research — the journeys and behaviours of juvenile tiger sharks. They have only tagged a few young tiger sharks and are already finding some interesting patterns.

Aming explained: “We found that their pattern is completely different to the adults and so we want to try to find and tag some smaller ones.

“The preliminary showings from the few that we’ve tagged is very, very interesting. The small ones are hanging out and using Bermuda as a base — they swim out about 20 to 50 miles away — but then they will come back.

Exploring

“When we tagged them the first year they were a lot smaller but now you can see two of them are doing bigger circles — they will venture out further and then come back.

“It’s almost like they are exploring.”

It is not thought that sharks remain in Bermuda year round or breed here but some maybe using it as a home base.

“We are hoping to hone into that over the next year or two — to tag some more little ones and really unravel what’s going on.

“On the whole, we know a lot more about tiger sharks than we did five years ago, but we now have specific questions rather than general.”