Please help whale shark research in the Gulf of Mexico

Biologists at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) in Ocean Springs, Mississippi need your help!

In order to understand whale shark occurrence, distribution and movement in the northern Gulf of Mexico, GCRL biologists will spend many days over the next few weeks deploying satellite tags on whale sharks in the region.

You CAN HELP by reporting whale shark sightings promptly, so we know where to direct our search efforts.

To Report a Sighting:
Please complete the survey at http://www.usm.edu/gcrl/whaleshark

Information that is helpful to us includes:

[ul]
[li]Time and duration of encounter[/li][li]Location (GPS coordinates)[/li][li]Approximate size and number of sharks[/li][li]Observed behavior[/li][li]Associated species[/li][li]Photos/video (especially of the region behind the gill slits on the left side of the animal—this is used for identification) [/li][li]Any other distinguishing features (i.e. numbered marker tags located behind the dorsal fin—please notate number)[/li][/ul]

Your participation is greatly appreciated and vital to a better understanding of whale shark movements and habitat in the Gulf of Mexico. Thank you.

Now join us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/whalesharkresearch

If you are willing and able to help spot whale sharks on boat days please contact me directly (jennifer.mckinney@eagles.usm.edu) so I can let you know how to get in touch with us out there. I thank you in advance!