CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the Texas State Aquarium conducted research in the Corpus Christi Bay area as part of their latest efforts to help educate the public about animals and their histories.
The survey took place from March through October of this year. Aquarium staff say the survey included getting sharks out of the water as quickly as possible. They were then measured and tagged with with DNA samples collected.
So far, spinner sharks, bull sharks and many other species have been tagged.
"We found that this water is heavy with juvenile sharks," Texas State Aquarium senior vice president Jesse Gilbert said. "So this is a nursery ground where these animals come into the Corpus Christi Bay Area where it's safe and then they migrate out."
TAMU-CC associate professor Dr. David Portnoy says they were able to catch mostly 1- to 2-year-old sharks. These species were found mostly in the middle of the bay and they seem to be using it for the first three years of their life.
Portnoy says a shark's habitat is important during this time in their development, so maintaining the gulf is crucial for their survival.
"Make sure that the bays are functioning the way they're supposed to and not loading them up with plastics and other things," Portnoy said. "And if you catch animals and you're not going to eat them, let them go and quickly."
You can find several species of sharks at the aquarium.
Plus, each ticket purchased at the aquarium helps fund critical research projects like this one.