Daytona Beach, Fla. – Feb. 14, 2013 – At the Miami International Boat Show today, Costa announced the expansion of its partnership with OCEARCH, the leading scientific ocean research initiative charged with gathering never-seen-before data about one of the world’s most misunderstood predators, the great white shark.
The OCEARCH crew, aboard the 126-foot M/V OCEARCH vessel equipped with a custom 55,000-pound hydraulic lift and research platform, will debark off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla. starting Feb. 21 through March 11 in an effort to satellite tag as many great white sharks as possible.
As part of the mission, Costa will be on board gathering epic video, photographs and interview content from the expedition, providing real-time, daily video journal updates available at www.ocearch.org. In addition, Costa will follow the OCEARCH shark tagging expeditions over the next three years, compiling content into original webisodes, which will begin airing online in Fall 2013.
Shark populations globally are under threat with significant declines documented in areas where they were once common. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has determined that of the shark and ray species assessed, 30 percent are threatened or near-threatened with extinction. As apex predators, sharks play a crucial role of maintaining balance in the delicate oceanic ecosystem.
Until now, significant information was lacking with regard to the medium and long-range movement patterns of white sharks. Traditional research focused on fine small-scale movements of white sharks within known aggregation sites. With its unique at-sea laboratory and cadre of oceanic scientists and expert anglers, OCEARCH fieldwork involves the attracting, catching, tagging, and bio-sampling of sharks before they are released.
Already the mission has satellite tagged great white sharks off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass.; South Africa; Guadalupe Island, Mexico; Farallon Islands off of San Francisco; areas in the Sea of Cortez; the Southern California Coast, around the islands of the Revillagigedos off of Baja Mexico; and Cocos Island, Costa Rica. As a tagged shark’s dorsal fins rises to the surface, it pings the location to the online OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker, allowing the entire world to follow along in the shark’s migratory path. Many have followed closely the progress of Cape Cod-tagged sharks Genie and Mary Lee as they traveled South for the winter, checking in frequently from Jacksonville north to Virginia Beach, Va.
“OCEARCH is completing unprecedented scientific research about the great white shark, and we want to make sure the stories and findings from these expeditions are available to everyone – whether you’re a researcher, an educator, an angler or just a shark fan,” said Al Perkinson, vice president of marketing for Costa Sunglasses. “The more people know about how these sharks behave, where they’re birthing, where they’re migrating, the more informed decisions we can make when it comes to developing sound conservation measures to protect them, and the people around them.”
According to Chris Fischer, founder and expedition leader for OCEARCH, “We now have the means and the process in place to move the needle for great white shark research exponentially higher than it’s ever been before, which means we’re going to be able to enact real change as a result of studying long-term meaningful data. Part of that change starts with drawing as many people as possible into the conversation, which is what we’re going to be able to do through the curated content Costa’s going to share with the world.”
To follow the OCEARCH Shark Tracker, visit http://sharks-ocearch.verite.com.
OCEARCH is a non-profit organization with a global reach for unprecedented research on the ocean’s giants, supporting leading researchers and institutions seeking to attain groundbreaking data on the biology and health of sharks, in conjunction with research on shark life history and migration. The researchers OCEARCH supports work aboard the M/V OCEARCH, a 126’ vessel equipped with a custom 55,000 hydraulic lift and research platform, which serves as both mothership and at-sea laboratory. The data generated by OCEARCH's unprecedented research is shared on the Global Shark Tracker with the world for free, enabling students and the public to learn alongside PhD's. Videos funded by Costa as part of their extended partnership with OCEARCH will allow anyone, for free, to be included in expeditions as they unfold – in near real time. More in-depth webisodes will be distributed following each expedition to provide viewers with a more detailed look at the science, the learnings, the crew and the challenges associated with this groundbreaking work. More information can be found at http://www.ocearch.org.
As the leading manufacturer of the world’s clearest polarized performance sunglasses, Costa offers superior lens technology and unparalleled fit and durability. Still handcrafted today in Florida, Costa has created the highest quality, best performing sunglasses and prescription sunglasses (Rx) for outdoor enthusiasts since 1983. It’s currently the fourth-largest brand in the performance sunglasses market.
For Costa, conservation is all about sustainable fishing. Many fisheries that should be vibrant and healthy are all but devoid of native fish because they have fallen victim to poor fishing practices, unregulated development, lack of watershed protection or all of the above. Costa works with partners around the world to help increase awareness and influence policy so that both the fish and fishermen of tomorrow will have healthy waters to enjoy. Costa encourages others to help in any way they can.
For more information, contact 1-800-447-3700 or visit the company’s web site at www.costadelmar.com. Join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/costasunglasses or on Twitter @CostaSunglasses.